General Public is the collaborative platform of artists Elizabeth Rowe and Chris Poolman. Broadly speaking, they devise large scale public art projects that incorporate elements of fiction, myth-making, local history re-invention and heritage rebooting.
Often this process involves re-working or inverting an established model or institutional structure. Their approach is interdisciplinary and collaborative: they produce artworks (writing, film, print), devise collaborative frameworks, organise events, curate / commission other artists.
Previous projects have included:
a re-interpretation of the biennale concept in inner-city Birmingham (Balsall Heath Biennale 2011 – 2013),
a science fiction themed light festival exploring the politics of regeneration (Longbridge Light Festival, 2014),
a community competition resulting in 4000 new coins for an inner city area of Birmingham (Handsworth Currency Competition 2014 -15)
an 18-month strategic touring exhibition that uses the migratory movements of hop-pickers as the conceptual basis for a tour (The Hop Project 2016-17).
In 2017/18, they conceived & produced The Endless Village, an apocalyptic sitcom that investigates life in an imagined post-Brexit Britain of the future. This was presented as exhibitions at Eastside Projects and Aspex Portsmouth.
Over the 2018 summer holidays they delivered the ‘Heathland Festival, a ‘children’s festival of ideas’ that occurred at Birmingham Community libraries.
During 2019/20, they were artists in residence at the University of Birmingham where they developed ‘The Pomology Project’ (a reimagining of British orchard traditions in an urban context).
Their current project Let Us Play explores the history of the Adventure Playground movement in Birmingham. The oral histories and archive material generated through the project will be presented in 2021 as part of a series of exhibitions, events and a publication.
Jane is a participatory artist and mental health professional, combining the two in her practice.
Jane is a participatory artist of British and Guyanese heritage. Jane qualified with a degree in Visual Arts from Lancaster University and has many years experience of reseaching, facilitating and evaluating arts projects, workshops and events.
Following a career as an arts administrator, Jane built on her community arts experience by qualifying in Social Work from Glasgow University. She went onto to manage a number of community based mental health services both in Glasgow, and more recently in Birmingham. She has a commitment to creativity and engagement and has been recognised nationally for her work in creative approaches to organsiational change and consultation. She delivers learning and engagement opportunities with diverse groups of adults, young people and older adults.
Jane has a Masters Degree from University of Birmingham. Her research interest was the creative relationship between Survivor Artists and social work students. In December 2016, Jane co-authored an article published in The International Journal of Social Work.
In 2016, Jane established The Black and Blue Collective– a collaborative live arts organisation that works in co-production with artists and people with lived experience of mental health issues
All activities aims to work with young people and local communities to make make sense of the world using creative and cultural action. There is a combination of one of projects that use a variety of art forms appropriate for the subject, and also one off events that are hosted by either the organisation or members of the community.
Address: The GAP, 498 Moseley Road, Balsall Heath, B12 9AH
Sajida Asif is a Birmingham born artist based in Moseley.
After graduating with a Master’s degree in Fine Art, Sajida held exhibitions of her work both locally and abroad, with previous exhibitions held in Amsterdam, Walsall New Art Gallery, a six week solo exhibition in Winterbourne Coach House Gallery, Birmingham and other West Midlands and Birmingham based galleries such as Direct Art Action, The Art Yard and Moseley Exchange.
Sajida has carried out lots of commissioned projects with schools and other organisations. These projects have involved murals, fabric hangings and art, painted benches with the Big Read and an outdoor public piece as part of Stechford Art Trail in Birmingham. Sajida has also been commissioned to create tapestries for Birmingham’s Soho House Museum.
Sajida has worked with many different mediums and art forms. Recently Sajida has also begun creating quilts and tapestries as mediums used to explore history, culture and heritage. Sajida has carried out lots of artist workshops with adults and young people through working with Birmingham Centre for Art Therapies.