Birmingham Arts Lab Sessions


28 – 30 March 2013


Vivid Projects is delighted to be working with Flatpack Festival to present some very special events focusing on the unsung story of the Birmingham Arts Lab.


Formed in 1968 and inhabiting the first floor of a former youth club on Tower Street in Newtown, the Birmingham Arts Lab comprised a host of colourful characters including performers, artists, musicians, designers and writers who took experimentation to new heights amidst a make-shift environment which included “the world’s most uncomfortable cinema”, a coffee bar, and a theatre auditorium constructed from pallets.


In homage to this sometimes itinerant and ferociously creative structure, Vivid Projects has commissioned artist/curator Trevor Pitt to excavate untold stories first hand, spinning a bricolage of memories from the spirited and anarchic early days at Tower Street. These audio gems will form the basis of 3-day exhibition at Vivid Projects from Thu 28 – Sat 30 March. 



Step into a ramshackle audio environment where detritus is touched by alchemy. The scene is set for an atmospheric audio installation featuring rare interviews with key players from the Birmingham Arts Lab scene including resident screen printer Ernie Hudson, founder of the Arts Lab Sound Workshop Jolyon Layton, and Terry Grimley, latterly arts correspondent for the Birmingham Post. Hear how interdisciplinary exuberance shook post-war middle class culture out of its comfort zone!

What more can we say about a place that made DJ John Peel its first life member?


Birmingham Arts Lab Sessions is the fourth revolution of Vivid Projects' eight-month launch programme 33 REVOLUTIONS, which asks the question, can art and culture be a catalyst for social change?