>>2015-2014  >>2014  >>2016

‘Women Of Longbridge’ Exhibition Film By Craig Bush

‘Women of Longbridge’ project and exhibition by Hannah Hull and Stephen Burke


Juneau Projects Workshop With 271st Birmingham Rainbows, Brownies And Guides

Artists-in-residence Juneau Projects have been working with a number of community groups in Longbridge over the past couple of months exploring the theme of ‘Digital Longbridge’. Most recently the artists worked with the 271st Birmingham Rainbows, Brownies and Girl Guides. The artists held workshops where the participants have been able to make wearable items such as badges and pendants created through a laser cutter. Participants were asked to first draw their designs by hand, these were then scanned into a computer and then people worked with them using design software to convert their drawings into a format the laser cutter could read.

The artists have been really impressed with the way people have risen to this challenge. This research will allow them to create a tool kit for people wishing to make their own designs for the project, whether they are a school or college group, community organisation or individual. The artists are planning to set up a system that allows people to use the tool kit to submit their designs for laser cutting, then come to the Light Festival to collect their badge cut from wooden ply.

If you are part of a community group in Longbridge and would like to take part in a workshop please get email Sarah@WERK.org.uk for more information.


‘Manufacturing Longbridge’, 10th December, 1.30pm - 3.00pm, Unit 5, Longbridge Lane (next Door To Queen's Fish & Chips)

Join us on the 10th December for ‘Manufacturing Longbridge’ a series of talks about the manufacturing history of Longbridge. The day will be presented by guest speakers John Baker, Colin Corke and Steve Wright.

There will be free refreshments available and please note you are able to drop in and out of the event.

To book your free place please email stephen@WERK.org.uk

This is a free event produced by students from Birmingham City University as part of Longbridge Public Art Project.


Women of Longbridge Exhibition Launch

The Women of Longbridge exhibition launch took place on Friday the 9th October and was a great event attended by many people from the local community. 

The exhibition by LPAP artists-in-residence celebrates and shares the untold stories of female workers from the Longbridge Car Factory. It documents the changing attitudes towards women in the work place as well as giving a snapshot into what factory life was like, the good bits and the bad bits!

With thanks to all the women who took part in the project; Carol Drennan, Mo Noone, Lorraine West, Samantha Henfield and Mable Cole. The exhibition would not be possible without the ongoing support of St. Modwens and with thanks to Sainsbury’s Longbridge for sponsoring the refreshments of the event.

The exhibition continues till the 7th November, open Wednesday - Saturday, 11am - 4pm. 


Juneau Projects Workshop With Bournville College Students

Artists-in-residence Juneau Projects held their first workshop exploring ideas of Digital Longbridge, working with Bournville College students, who made designs which were laser cut. The students began by hand drawing the designs, giving the finished product more of a human feel. The artists are interested in incorporating hand made elements into digital production methods such as laser cutting. Now the pieces have been cut out they will be hand painted by the students and will become part of the range of wearable designs that will trigger animations when viewed with a phone. The students made some great designs and the artists are looking forward to working with them again, along with other people and groups from the local area.


The Factory’s Young Leaders Lead The Way…

static1.squarespace-3.jpg

Inspiring beginnings of a Longbridge Open Spaces Strategy and programme of activity emerged on 23rd September at a workshop with Young Leaders at The Factory in Longbridge.  

The group of  young people discussed questions such as  “Why have community led activities in the open spaces?”  Some of the answers they gave were, “to be happier”, “to meet new people”,  “to have fun” and “to get the community involved.” Many feasible activity ideas were suggested for all sections of the community.  These included outdoor Zumba, a pumpkin competition at Halloween, love songs (performed live) on Valentines day, Christmas markets, a car-boot sale in January, revision sessions on bean bags in the park, Easter egg hunts and art markets.

A few of the young leaders have volunteered to be involved in the Longbridge Open Spaces Partnership to develop a strategy and feasible programme of activities for the open spaces.  We continue to welcome volunteers who are keen to make things happen!


'Women Of Longbridge’ Exhibition

Women of Longbridge Exhibition

Friday 9th October, 6-9pm, Unit 5 (next door to Queen’s Fish & Chips), Longbridge Lane

Join us for the launch of ‘Women of Longbridge’ an exhibition of interviews & photographic portraits of female ex-workers of the Longbridge car factory by artists Hannah Hull & Stephen Burke.

The interviews document the changing attitudes towards women who worked in the male dominated environment. Covering several eras they also offer an insight into the changing approach to labour throughout the factory’s life.

The exhibition showcases and celebrates the overlooked stories of the Women of Longbridge, and aims to provide strong female role models for the next generation.

The exhibition will continue to the 7th November, please note it will be open Wednesday - Saturday 11am - 4pm.

For more information please email Stephen@WERK.org.uk


Longbridge Town Centre Open Spaces: A Call For Ideas, Action And Community Life!

As the hoardings are coming down and the latest phase of Longbridge Town Centre’s development is near completion, we are throwing down the gauntlet to community groups and individuals to make use of the open spaces!  We are calling for ideas, as a starting point, to get community events and activities happening in the open spaces (that includes some of the wide pavement areas as well as Austin Park).

Here’s how you can get involved:

Send your ideas and proposals for temporary activity* that a wider public would enjoy.  This could be a ‘one off’ or regular events. Activity could be anything from a community market to a hoola-hoop challenge… it just needs to be fun, safe and proper! These ideas will feed into an Activity Programme and Strategy.

*The activity needs to be possible without extra finances and support

 Be part of the Longbridge Open Spaces Partnership – you can be part of making things to happen to make Longbridge Town Centre a fun and vibrant place.  If you are happy to volunteer your time and energy, we would love to hear from you.  

Please contact Jenny Peevers at mail@jennypeevers.co.uk


Mini Restoration Open Day! Saturday 12th September, 1pm - 5pm, The Cabin, Longbridge

Engine stripping, film still, © Stuart Whipps

Mini Restoration Open Day!

Saturday 12th September, 1pm - 5pm, The Cabin, Longbridge Car Park (opposite Bournville College and next to Austin Park)

Members of the public are invited to join artist-in-residence Stuart Whipps to see the development of the mini restoration process. All the components have now been removed from the shell of the car with many thanks to the help of a number of ex workers and local residents. The day will also be an opportunity to share memories of Longbridge car factory and the legendary Mini!.

If you would like to help with the restoration please email Stephen at stephen@WERK.org.uk


Postcards From Longbridge, Hannah Hull

Artist-in-residence Hannah Hull has created a number of limited edition postcards, titled ‘Postcards from Longbridge’. The postcards have been a result of modern Bournville College students responding to students of the Bournville Day Continuation School. Established in 1913, the school was part of the visionary free schooling scheme for workers of Cadbury Bournville Works, and is the origins of the Bournville College we see today.

This fold out pamphlet digitally printed on vellum, hand folded with wax seal comprises of quotes from some of the original students of the school with responses from modern students. Covering age old issues such as relationships, fashion and identity, this booklet travels time to showcase the unique voices of young people across eras.

To see more of Hannah’s work please see www.hannahhull.co.uk


Mini Restoration, Stuart Whipps

Photographs by Stephen Burke

Artist-in-residence Stuart Whipps has started to begin the process of restoring the 1979 1275GT Mini. The glass fronted cabin which is situated in longbridge town centre has become the workshop space for the project and tools (and overalls) have been purchased, the artist has completed an initial strip down of the car, with the help of former Longbidge factory worker Keith Woodfield. Stuart Whipps has set up a small studio to be able to photograph the parts and process as the stripping continues.

There will be a series of open days for people to come by and see the process of the restoration they will be happening on; Saturday 12th September, Saturday 17th October, Saturday 14th November, Saturday 12th December. The Cabin is situated in the Car Park in Longbridge town centre opposite Bournville College and adjacent to Austin Park.

If you would like to help with the restoration please get in contact with Stephen at stephen@WERK.org.uk


Mini Restoration Open Day


The Mini Has Arrived!

We are delighted to announce that the 1979 1275GT Mini has found a permanent home for the next year. With many thanks to St Modwen the car will be housed in a glass fronted cabin in the car park in Longbridge town centre. 

The artist Stuart Whipps, will be restoring the car to it’s former glory over the coming months and he is looking for local residents and former Longbridge factory workers to help him achieve this. If you are interested in taking part we would love to hear from you, please contact Stephen at stephen@WERK.org.uk.

There will also be a series of events happening at the cabin over the next year and we will be sharing information about this shortly.

The work created by Stuart Whipps as part of LPAP will be exhibited at the British Art Show 8 which opens at Leeds Art Gallery on the 8th October 2015 and will tour to Edinburgh, Norwich and Southampton throughout 2016.

With special thanks to Morgan Sindall for preparing the ground works for the cabin.


Women Of Longbridge, Hannah Hull & Stephen Burke

static1.squarespace-9.jpg

Mable Cole, photograph by Stephen Burke

Extract from an interview with Mable Cole a former Longbridge Factory Worker by Hannah Hull -

’…I worked at Austin for about 15 years. I can’t remember which year I started, but I left when I had my son in 1956. I must have been about 16 when I started, 17. I worked in Woolworths for a bit, when I finished at school, and the money was atrocious. 12 and 6 a week. And I thought, “I can’t live on this kind of money.” So we went round looking for jobs, me and my friend, and we went to the Austin and we got a job next to each other. Just walked in and asked in them days, “Have you got a job?” And you got one.

…The pay was three times as much at Austin. And it was piecework, so you got what you earnt. The harder you worked more money you got. As I said, men with families, of course they got a mortgage to keep, so they wanted the money. So you had to keep them supplied in work. If you didn’t, they’d be shouting, “Come on, get yer bloody finger out.” But all in good fun, you know. I never saw any nastiness there. Never saw any fights, anything like that. I liked it…’ - Mable Cole

Women of Longbridge aims to celebrate the role of working women at Longbridge Car Factory, the photographs and interviews will be created into a publication and possible exhibition.
 
Did you work at Longbridge Car Factory or know anyone women that did? Hannah Hull and Stephen Burke would love to hear from you, please email stephen@WERK.org.uk or ring 07540442707. 


What Is Longbridge?

Film by Craig Bush


Juneau Projects, Warning Structures, Longbridge Light Festival

Film by Juneau Projects

As part of Longbridge Light Festival Juneau Projects created ‘Warning Structures’ an installation which was inspired by prehistoric cave paintings and hobo signs from the depression era in the USA.

Through a system of red, green and blue strobing lights the artists created post-apocalyptic warning sign animations on large sculptural objects, which were installed in Austin Park. 

static1.squarespace-2.jpg

'Warning Structures’ Juneau Projects, photography by Matt Wilson

To see more of Juneau Projects work please see www.juneauprojects.co.uk


Stuart Whipps, LPAP Artist-in-Residence, 'The Kipper And The Corpse'

The piece was situated in the tunnel that runs under the A38, which was historically the train station for workers arriving to the factory from the Black Country and beyond. Displayed at the back of the tunnel, the photographs were viewed from a distance, from behind a gate, which added to the impact of the viewer emphasising the detached feeling of the old factory site to the present day.

The 1979 1275GT Mini will be restored in 2015 with the help of Longbridge residents and former workers of the Longbridge Car Factory, if you are interested in taking part in this please contact stephen@werk.org.uk

To find out more about Stuart Whipps please see www.stuartwhipps.com


Cathy Wade, LPAP Artist-in-Residence, 'Found Sculpture - Sightlines Of Longbridge'

Cathy Wade image courtesy of the artist

LPAP artist-in-residence Cathy Wade produced 'Found Sculpture - Sightlines of Longbridge’ for Longbridge Light Festival; the work seeks to reveal the past and near future in the existing architecture as beacons, signalling the transformation of the area, while retaining its distinct identity. Within the current built environment are structures that have an unseen symbolic weight, the three red tankers which were illuminated for the Festival were part of the factory signal industrial histories that are now transforming.

Now unused they have a presence in the landscape as found sculptures, public works that were not designed for this purpose but carry deep associations and resonances with the area they were placed in, they are an enduring signal of the ingenuity and creativity that evolved Longbridge. The paths we take as we pass through our urban centres are be informed and enriched through such experiences, Sightlines of Longbridge encourages and develops these narratives celebrating their renewal and repurposing of the environment for the future.

Watch the below film to hear Cathy Wade discuss how the elements of the Longbridge site can and should be repurposed, whilst challenging pre conceptions of what defines public art?

The artist’s long term work in response to Longbridge has been about exploring the potential for collective histories and narratives to mark public space and places of local significance.

Formed through direct and ongoing contact with residents of Longbridge and students at Bournville College. The artist’s work within LPAP has focused on personal and institutional archives and existing industrial landmarks as sightlines through the landscape, and the train station as a place in which collective ownership can be created.

The artist has also been exploring the landscape that is encountered through the daily commute on Twitter ( @Cathy_Wade ) through the hashtag #TheTrainStationAsPublicArt which in turn tests how encounter, text and image communicate a live experience to the viewer. 

Find out more about Cathy Wades work here www.cathywade.co.uk


Anna Schimkat, (Leipzig) International Artist-in-Residence

WERK and Halle14, (Leipzig) in partnership created an open call opportunity for a Leipzig (Birmingham’s sister city) based artist to create new work for Longbridge Light Festival in October 2014.

The commission was funded by Birmingham City University to support WERK’s ongoing EU sister city and international partnership development to create ongoingartistic and knowledge exchange opportunities.

Leipzig based artist Anna Schimkat spent time in Longbridge, whilst being in residence with Grand Union gallery and studios (GU) in Digbeth throughout September and October. During this period the artist developed new work for Longbridge Light Festival, meeting local people and exploring Birmingham’s cultural offering and art community.

Anna has spent her time observing the daily activity at Longbridge Train Station, becoming particularly focused on the rhythm of people moving through it. Her preoccupation with the experience and sensation of space has lead her to create two site-specific sound works that capture the patterns of transient occupation that are so familiar in suburban train stations. She experimented with recording noise at the Train Station to create interactive soundscapes that were heard throughout the station on the night of the festival.

While in Longbridge Anna also performed 'Wind’ The work is described as ’a collection of recordings of wind from around the world which have been merged into a composition. The recordings have been made in Italy, Syria, Germany, France, Canada, Spain and Great Britain - the roaring interference noises are the same but the reference to their point of origin gets lost with abstraction. The primarily “unintentional noises” hover between musical arrangement and a collage of sound.’

Listen to 'Wind' here.

WERK are continuing to develop international artist and knowledge exchange opportunities that started in 2012 as part of 48Sheet project. 

As part of this work over the last three years Claire Farrell, WERK has in conversation with EU and International partners created the opportunity to create an artist-in-residence programme within live projects. WERK aim to develop this further through European funding within LPAP, Longbridge Light Festival and various projects over the next 5 years.

Anna Schimkat was the first artist to take part in the international artist-in-residence WERK programme.

WERK approached Grand Union to support this process and to provide a studio space within the excellent Grand Union studios (with special thanks to GU). You can find out more about Grand Union here.

We look forward to collaborating with Grand Union in the future and other art spaces and studios across Birmingham over the next few years.

See more of Anna’s work here - www.annaschimkat.de

Photography by Stephen Burke


Anna Schimkat Performance Of 'Wind', LPAP | Space, 17th October, 6.30pm - 7pm

Artist-in-residence Anna Schimkat will be performing “Wind”, an ongoing project. The performance is a collection of recordings of wind from around the world which have been merged into a composition. The recordings have been made in Italy, Syria, Germany, France, Canada, Spain and Great Britain - the roaring interference noises are the same but the reference to their point of origin gets lost with abstraction. The primarily “unintentional noises” hover between musical arrangement and a collage of sound.

Published by:  - recordings for the summer, Leipzig, Kassette „wind“, 2011
                        - mairisch Verlag, Hamburg, CD, pressplay 3 – Anthologie der freien Hörspielszene“, 2012

http://www.annaschimkat.de/index.php?/installations/wind/
https://soundcloud.com/annaschimkat/wind-2014

The performance will take place in the LPAP | SPACE on Friday 17th from 6.30 - 7pm.  


Teresa Albor, 24 Sculptures In 24 Hours At The LPAP | Space

Film by Craig Bush

On the site of the former Longbridge Car Factory for the first time since 2005 artist Teresa Albor created a 24 hour art production line out of found objects in Longbridge.

The artist was inspired by the heritage of the area, the working community and the production lines which ran for nearly a century.


St John The Baptist Banner Making Group

Over the past couple of weeks ladies from St John the Baptist Church have been working in the LPAP | SPACE creating a banner representing the past, present and future of Longbridge.

The church have a long tradition of banner making and the newest banner will be exhibited at St John’s when completed.

If you would like to use the LPAP | SPACE please get in contact at info@werk.org.uk


Cathy Wade

Resident Artist Cathy Wade is seeking out unexpected tales and facts about Longbridge for a very special ‘Did You Know’ publication, which will contain the amazing and mind boggling facts that make Longbridge unique. You can email your Longbridge ‘Did You Know’ to stephen@werk.org.uk or come into the LPAP Space to tell us in person.

The ‘Did You Know’ Challenge has begun!


Redhawk Logistica

static1.squarespace-12.jpg

Cogito Ergo Sum, Redhawk Logistica, 2014

Working with Hannah Hull we approached some of the shops and business in the Longbridge community and for one day only offered a sign making service. What emerged from these conversations was a series of poetic words and phrases that were translated into temporary signs that we placed around the neighbourhood. What they mean to others, how they are viewed and how long they last are all part of inviting people to think about personal responsibility in their communities.


Longbridge Light Festival, It's Coming Soon!

static1.squarespace.jpg

‘Draw Off’ with The Other Side of the Door creative group.

Film by Craig Bush.


Knitted Knockers At The Lpap | Space

We were pleased to be able to host the wonderful Knitted Knockers on Saturday the 23rd of August, Knitted Knockers is a charity that provides 100% cotton knitted prosthetic breasts to support ladies who have undergone Mastectomies and Lumpectomies to find out more about the charity and the great work they do please see www.knittedknockersuk.com

Photography by Craig Bush

I
f you would like to hold an event in the LPAP | SPACE please get in contact with Sarah at sarah@werk.org.uk


Mexican God Eye Workshop, Saturday 30 August 12-4pm, LPAP | Space


Sci-fi Poster Making Workshop, Saturday 16 August, 12-3pm, Lpap | Space


Cofton Park, Photography Walkshop

0.jpg

© Nik Taylor

01.jpg

© Jason Woodroffe

Photographic artist Stephen Burke lead a group of Longbridge residents on a photography walkshop around the historic Cofton Park.  Which was often home to union meetings and famously the setting for where Red Robbo was ousted as the head of the union.

See more of the great photographs taken by the group here. 


‘You have to understand the enormity of the place’ - a quadcoptering film by Craig Bush.


French Knitting Workshop, Saturday 26th July 12.30pm - 3.30pm, Lpap | Space

03.jpg

Join artist Grace Williams & The Craftswoman’s Club for an afternoon of French Knitting Tea, Cake and chatter.

All tools provided & all welcome to join in!

For more info please email info@werk.org.uk


In Other News

04.jpg

Co-commission call out between WERK and Fête des Lumières de Lyon for Artists based in Birmingham to exhibit at the Fête Des Lumières Festival of Lights. 

An exciting opportunity has arisen for a co-commission between Fête des Lumières de Lyon and WERK, for an Artist or Organisation based in Birmingham to produce one or multiple Monumental Light Object (meaning a light object which will need to reach between approximately 4 to 7 metres high to ensure visibility for the visitors), for a key central location in Lyon e.g. “Place Louis Pradel” or a similar location during the Festival of Lights event from 5th to 8th December 2014 and with the opportunity to exhibit the work within the Longbridge Light Festival in 2015, if considered appropriate by WERK. 

This Call Out is open to any individual artist, collective, collaboration, organisation, lighting designer, lighting engineer, cinematographer, set designer, designer, graphic designer, filmmaker, architect, artist and scientist but the individual or group must include a lighting or projected image professional, as well as a management role to produce the installation. All involved must be highly experienced. The use of new technologies to save energy is also to be considered by the artists. The co-commissioners are seeking proposals for the conception with a maximum budget of 15,000 Euros (including VAT)

For full information on the Call Out, please email Sophia Tarr WERK Project Manaer: sophiatarr@gmail.com or alternatively see here.  Deadline for applications is August 8th 12 noon.


Redhawk Logistica

06.jpg

© Redhawk Logistica, installation photograph of collages in the LPAP | SPACE

At the start of Phase 2, Rob from Redhawk Logistica began a series of five Collective Collages, featuring an abundance of found images. They were created with community groups and drop-in visitors in a series of different locations including; Austin Sports and Social Club, LPAP/SPACE, Pride of Longbridge/Cofton Park and Northfield Library.

This way of working was suitable for people of all ages and all abilities to take part. It enabled everyone to contribute on an equal basis. Over the course of about 4 hours a new montage would emerge, created by many hands.

By focussing on different eras and aspects of Longbridge and the car factory, we have been able to introduce a currency of images. The aim was to expand people’s thinking around the Longbridge legacy, by offering up as many different aspects of it as possible. We also wanted to engender the conditions for people to gravitate towards things that have meaning for them within this vast story.

The resulting art works provide an immersive world in which the viewer can find their own associations and reflect on the relationships that have been created within, whether by chance or intentionally. They are currenty all on display at the LPAP/Space and we would love to hear your feedback on them.

07.jpg

Jenny Peevers

Great conversations, tasty food and exciting possibilities were shared at the Longbridge Supper at Urban Flavours (Bournville College training restaurant) on 21st May. Representatives from community groups came together to discuss the priorities that emerged from the suppers and lunches that had taken place in various community venues throughout March, April and May.

The conversations focused around the future of Longbridge and included ideas that could contribute to making the new town centre a place that locals feel they belong to; opportunities for young people and long term unemployed; capturing and celebrating local stories that revolved around the Austin/Rover works.

The aim of the suppers and lunches is to recognise local skills, interests and existing networks and build on these through LPAP (Longbridge Public Art Project).

 Many thanks to Bournville College for the tasty food and superb venue generously provided by Urban Flavours. 

Photography by Craig Bush


Stuart Whipps

In the last couple of weeks the project took a giant leap forward with the acquisition of our mini.  It’s a 1275 GT from 1979, which was exactly what we are looking for! The long term plan is to restore it with ex Longbridge workers but firstly i’ll be photographing it comprehensively. 

If anybody is interested in being involved with the restoration, please get in touch with Stephen at stephen@WERK.org.uk.

(c) Stuart Whipps

www.stuartwhipps.com


Nikki Pugh

© Nikki Pugh

A class of pupils studying for the BTEC Level 2 course in Travel and Tourism at Bournville College had the Road Trip for Longbridge experience last month, following on from earlier work they’d done considering Birmingham as a tourist destination.

Although initially sceptical about the appeal of Birmingham, it was noted that Austin Village felt like a holiday resort and there was a spot of sight-seeing and photography from the top of Rednal Hill!

Although many of the students live reasonably close to the College and were familiar with several locations on the tour, everyone said they had seen and learned something new that afternoon.

Thanks again to the Hollymoor Centre for providing us with somewhere to stop for lunch, everyone that contributed to the development of the tour and to the staff and students who took part in the event.

More photos from the day can be found here.

www.npugh.co.uk


Photograph the way you travel to longbridge

We are asking people to tweet photographs to @LPAP2014 of way they travel to Longbridge whether that is walking, cycling, train, bus or even by car.  We would love to see the way you get too Longbridge and what routes you take.  The photographs will then be used as part of the movement mapping workshop happening in the LPAP | SPACE on the 24th June.

tumblr_inline_n6ou3nD0131qfrv5l.jpg

© Stephen Burke, Redditch Rd, by Car


Hannah Hull

My time at Longbridge by Nigel Clark from Dodgy

Britpop’s Nigel Clark talks about the relationship between the four years he spent working at Austin Rover and his journey to political and social awareness. He discusses how the advice of the ‘old guys’ at the factory spurred him to reject the lifestyle being sold to him, and follow his dreams. As a result, Dodgy rose to fame by capturing the mood of a generation.

Extract from the interview, the full interview can be seen in the LPAP | SPACE.

'When I first joined Rover I was on the day shift for a week, and I had to work a week in hand. I had my new overalls on, learning the job, following people around. In and out of cars. The next week I was on the night shift, my first ever night shift. I was tired, I think the track went slower in the evening. I remember having lunch at 2 o’clock in the morning and watching the darts at 2.30am just to pass the time away.

It’s a Thursday night and I’m going down the track and the foreman comes down and gives us our wage packets. It was a lot of money to me, I didn’t have a family, it was just going to go on beer and going out. We get to lunchtime, and we used to have a chip wagon, and I walked over there being really excited, money in my pocket, my first night of going to the chip van to have whatever I’d seen everyone else eating all week, because I didn’t have much money. I get to the wagon and I can’t find my wage packet. And I’m like, fuck, what the hell have I done?

Go back after lunch feeling quite sick. I go to my foreman and tell him I’ve lost my wage packet. And he didn’t know me, really… I think he’d known me for two weeks. And I did have pretty crazy hair… I was a bit of a punk or something… Punk/borderline Goth. So everyone looked, but hope is really fading. I was probably doing 40 cars an hour. I think they let me look for a bit but in the end I had to go back to work. It got to 4, 5 o’clock… Nothing.

So I’m in a car driving down the track and I get a tap at the window. There’s some guy there that I don’t know. I wind down the window, and he says, “Me and the guys have had a whip round for you.” Everybody in the whole place! I always imagine that the story had gone round, “You know that weird looking kid with the funny hair? He’s lost his wage packet. It’s his first wage packet.” And he gave me this bag, and it had loads of money in it. Loads of coins. More money than I’d lost! I was so grateful, it was absolutely amazing, this show of kindness. I thought, God, these people are friends. These people are going to do that sort of thing for you. When someone is down, they help you out. So I was forever indebted to them, really. I would have done anything for them.’

tumblr_inline_n6a9e7JUKu1qfrv5l.jpg

Manufacturing Longbridge

‘Manufacturing Longbridge’ was produced and developed by a group of Birmingham City University students, who created this event in response to and as part of Longbridge Public Art Project.

The event included a series of talks by guest speakers John Baker, Colin Corke, Gillian Bardsley and Steve Wright. The talks explored in just 90 minutes the 100 year history of the Longbridge Car Factory.

With special thanks to John Baker, Colin Corke, Gillian Bardsley and Steve Wright for continuing to generously support the project through their time and expertise.

To find out more about Longbridge’s unique past please see www.AustinMemories.com


Stuart Whipps 1979 GT Mini A38 Tunnel Commission

During November artist Stuart Whipps has been making photographs of various components of the 1979 GT Mini, as well as continuing his research into historic paint colours at Longbridge.

For the photographs the artist set up a small tabletop studio to photograph the components on coloured backgrounds and parts of the engine on newspapers sourced from 1979. All of the newspapers contain political cartoons that are connected to British Leyland. The colours for the backgrounds come from the extensive research the artist has conducted to identify the historical paint colours produced at Longbridge. The research trips have included numerous seen visits to the Motor Heritage Museum at Gaydon. (With thanks to the Motor Heritage Museum)

Stuart is continuing to restore the car and is looking for more people to help him with this project. If you would like to get involved please email Stephen@WERK.org.uk


Keith Woodfield Stripping The 1979 Gt Mini Engine, By Stuart Whipps

Former Longbridge Factory worker Keith Woodfield has been helping artist-in-residence Stuart Whipps with the restoration of a 1979 GT Mini. This work in progress film documents Keith stripping the engine of the car.

Stuart is continuing to restore the car and is looking for more people to help him with this project. If you would like to get involved please email Stephen@WERK.org.uk


Here And Now, St John The Baptist Church, 3rd October

On the 3rd of October, with great thanks to St John the Baptist Church, the LPAP team transformed the Church and Church Hall into a giant retrospective exhibition of the project so far.

Workshops were held throughout the day by LPAP artists-in-residence for people of all ages. The event gave the opportunity for people to find out more about the artists work to date and future plans, as well as opportunities for how they could get involved.

We were delighted that local community groups such as Knitted Knockers, Northfield Eco-Centre, Extra Care, Local Historian Steve Wright, St John the Baptist Banner Making Group, Austin Memories, John Baker, Keith Woodfield and David Kear were all able to attend and share their wonderful work with the community.

With special thanks to everyone who attended and the wonderful refreshments and cakes provided by the church!


Redhawk Logistica & Luke Perry Workshop With St Columba’s School

Luke Perry and Rob Hewitt (from Redhawk Logistica) went to work with a class from St Columba’s school. The artists talked to the students about their role as part of Longbridge Public Art Project. The artists discussed with the students about the car factory at Longbridge and about the process of making cars, from the initial idea to quality control at the end of the line.

Rob & Luke set the students tasks to do that introduced them to mass production techniques. First they modelled as workers and sketched each other in ‘working’ poses. Then they created a cardboard template which they used to cut out multiple copies of their original drawing, a basic kind of mass production.

Their final challenge was to take an Austin car body shape and identify which curves and features gave it a unique appearance and they applied their cut out figures to this area of the car, linking people and car production in one form.


Longbridge Alternative History Walk

Longbridge Alternative History Walk

30th Sepetember 2015

Two distinct layers of expertise on the Longbridge Alternative History Walk, provided by Mike Hodder, former Birmingham City Council planning archaeologist, and local historian Steve Wright.

Mike Hodder talked the group of 30 people through physical evidence found in Longbridge to show us how people used to live. By reading pollen build up in layers of dateable river silt, a picture emerges of how the landscape was gradually thinned out of trees, allowing heath plant species to prosper. The tree removal demonstrated early human activity in Longbridge, before any written records began there.  Steve revealed a story dating back to the English Civil War in relation to Hawkesley House and a visit to Longbridge from King Charles I.

Lastly the group was introduced to Mr Alan Taylor, 92 years old, president of Austin Village Society. Alan gave a great talk about the history of the Austin Village an how it came to be transported from America all the way to Longbridge.

It was a great event, thanks to St. Modwen and all that participated and we are hoping to do similar events in the future.


Longbridge Alternative History Walk, 30th September, 1 - 2pm, Meet Outside Sainsbury’s Longbridge

Join historians Mike Hodder and Steve Wright for an Alternative History Tour of Longbridge, the tour will take you on a time travelling adventure through a 1000 years of Longbridge history. This event is partnership with Still Walking and

St. Modwen.

This is a free event but to book your place please email Stephen@WERK.org.uk


Here And Now, 3rd October, 11am - 4pm, St John The Baptist Church, Longbridge

Join Longbridge Public Art Project (LPAP) on the 3rd October 2015 to celebrate the past, present and future of Longbridge. Come see historical research by artists and local residents as well as finding out about the art work being developed for Longbridge. On the day will be free events and activities for children and adults.

St John’s Church Hall, Longbridge Lane, B31 4JN

Free parking available, or 5 minute walk from Longbridge Train Station


Cathy Wade


Juneau Projects

static1.squarespace-6.jpg

Laser Cutter, © Juneau Projects

Artists duo Juneau Projects have begun to set up there new space within Bournville College including a laser cutter.The space will be used to run a series of workshops throughout September with a range of participants from Longbridge.

Juneau Projects have been developing an augmented reality technology app which they will be working with local people to make wearable artworks/badges/brooches. that also have animated parts when viewed through the augmented reality app.

With thanks to Bournville College for the use of the space.

www.juneauprojects.co.uk


Austin Star Map Cathy Wade

Cathy Wade Longbridge Public Art Project research image: Philips’ Planisphere, ca. 1900

Cathy Wade has been researching a map of the night sky that would have been present on the night that Lord Austin visited the old print works in Longbridge on the 4th of November 1905. From this research she is developing permanent work for Longbridge that celebrates how constellations of cause and effect are created by both nature and human actions.

Latitude - Longitude

52.395072,-1.984988

Lat: 52° 23’ 42.2586

Long: -1° 59’ 5.9568

Herbert Austin undertook numerous exploratory rides around Birmingham in his Wolseley. On 4 November 1905, he found the derelict printing works owned by a financier, E A Olivieri. Friends came forward with financial help, and with additional invoice financing from Frank Kayser of Kayser, Ellison and Company, and William Harvey du Cros of the Dunlop Rubber Company enabled Austin to buy the site.

Source: Austin Motor Company


The Austin Unity Song, Longbridge Archive Research By Stephen Burke

Unity of purpose is our watchward day by day,
In all we do and say,
Marching on our way,
Holding it before us as through life we go along,
Hear the happy throng,
Sing the Austin song. 

Refrain – We stand united, with Austin as our aim,
Our path is lighted with progress for the flame,
No shirkers, all workers,
All playing the game for goodwill and fame;
Shoulder to shoulder, secure against a fall,
Bolder and bolder, we’ll try to conquer all,
We’ll fight for, do right for the good of our name,
We stand united with Austin as our aim.

Loyal co-operation is the test of brotherhood,
Working as men should,
For the common good,
Each for all, our motto, as the race of life we run,
Striving all as one,
Through the years to come.

Refrain – We stand united, with Austin as our aim,
Our path is lighted with progress for the flame,
No shirkers, all workers,
All playing the game for goodwill and fame;
Shoulder to shoulder, secure against a fall,
Bolder and bolder, we’ll try to conquer all,
We’ll fight for, do right for the good of our name,
We stand united with Austin as our aim.

The Austin Unity Song, Lyrics by Collie Knox & Music by Vivian Ellis 


Juneau Projects Workshop With Turves Green Girls School

LPAP artists-in-residence Juneau Projects worked with the pupils from Turves Green Girls School on a development session for their residency. The pupils helped test out ideas for the artists work using hand-drawn images as a trigger for augmented reality content. The pupils created artworks and then assigned animations, digital images and video to them using the Aurasma app so that, when viewed through a device the digital content is superimposed over the image. This process worked particularly well when the artwork and digital content had a relationship with each other, such as inserting video of a talking mouth onto a mask.

Juneau Projects will be working with participants during their residency to create wearable designs such as badges and jewellery that trigger animations via augmented reality. Working with the girls has helped the artists get a feel of how people will engage with the technology they plan to use. 

Find out more about Juneau Projects at www.juneauprojects.co.uk


© Stuart Whipps

‘The Kipper & The Corpse’ by Stuart Whipps

Artist-in-residence Stuart Whipps has been photographing comprehensively a 1979 1275GTwhich with the help of former Longbridge workers will be restored as part of LPAP 2015. The detailed photographs also formed part of projected a series of photographs taken of the Longbridge MG Factory in the weeks, months and years following its closure and details of the 1979 1275GT mini exhibited at Longbridge Light Festival. 

The title for the piece ‘The Kipper and The Corpse’ comes from an episode of Faulty Towers that was first broadcast when the mini was made. In the episode Basil rants about lazy British Leyland workers, ”Another car strike. Marvellous isn’t it? Taxpayers pay ‘em each year, they get the money, go on strike. It’s called Socialism. I mean if they don’t like cars why don’t they get themselves another bloody job designing cathedrals or composing violin concertos? The British Leyland Concerto in 4 movements, all of ‘em slow, with a 4hr tea break in between. I’ll tell you why, ‘cos they’re not interested in anything except lounging about on conveyor belts stuffing themselves with my money.

www.stuartwhipps.com


Institute For Boundary Interactions 'town Crier'

‘Town Crier’ roaming Sainsbury’s, Longbridge as part of #LLF

Town Crier

Town Crier could be seen and heard roaming around Longbridge Light Festival, gathering social digital archaeology from the area and broadcasting through its array of speakers.

The Institute for Boundary Interactions [IBI] commissioned by Poolman Rowe for Longbridge Light Festival is an interdisciplinary research collective that uses science, technology, art and design to explore the complex connections between people places and things.


Website - www.boundaryinteractions.org

Twitter - @wetheinstitute

Facebook - Institute for Boundary Interactions

Read Longbridge Light Festival blog by BCU Arts Management student Rebekah Bainbridge

http://organised-chaos-arts.blogspot.co.uk/2014/10/longbridge-light-festival_29.html 

Photography by Stephen Burke and Rebekah Bainbridge


Heavy Object

‘Untitled’ Heavy Object, photography by Stephen Burke

Artist & designer Heavy Object has worked closely with WERK on LPAP during 2014 creating new art work for Longbridge Light Festival and the LPAP | SPACE as well as designing & producing posters, flyers and programmes throughout the year.

The top image, is a site-specific work created by Heavy Object in the LPAP | SPACE, the abstract image was inspired by an aerial photograph of one of the original buildings rafters within the Longbridge car factory.

See below Heavy Object design for LPAP summary publication.


Famed, International Artists (Leipzig, Germany), 'will I Be Missed?', Part Of Longbridge Light Festival

Photography by Stephen Burke

FAMED from Birmingham’s sister city Leipzig, Germany were commissioned by WERK to create site specific work for Longbridge Train Station for Longbridge Light Festival in October 2014.

'WILL I BE MISSED?’ neon text work was in response to the site and wider context of Longbridge Public Art Project. The work partially covered the existing Longbridge sign above the main station entrance/exit. 

With no explanation to 'who’ or 'what’ will be missed; the work it pointed to the historical significance of the area’s past, the present and the future of Longbridge both personally and socially.  

Will the future Longbridge miss the past?

To see more of FAMED’s work please see www.famed.us


Moritz Wehrmann, International Artist (weimar, Germany) 'Alter Ego' Part Of Longbridge Light Festival

‘Alter Ego’ courtesy of the artist

International artist Moritz Wehrmann (Weimar, Germany) was invited by WERK to show 'Alter Ego’ at Longbridge Light Festival.  The installation which blurs the lines between Science and Art was one of the highlights of Longbridge Light Festival (part of LPAP) exhibited in an empty cavernous industrial unit situated on the grounds of the former Longbridge car factory. Queues formed throughout the night with over 550 participants entering the mysterious black box structure, two at a time, where they saw their bodies merge together through the use of special glass and light technology.  

See a film of 'Alter Ego’ in action below.

Courtesy of the artist

To see more of the artists work please see www.moritzwehrmann.com


Teresa Albor, 24 Sculptures In 24 Hours

Photography by Stephen Burke

On the site of the former Longbridge Car Factory for the first time since 2005 artist Teresa Albor created a 24 hour assemblage art production line. 

The artist was inspired by the heritage of the area; the working intergenerational community and the production lines which ran for nearly a century.  The above photographs show a small selection of the 24 sculptures created by Teresa Albor in the LPAP | SPACE.

The archival photography of 24 scultpures above is by photographic artist Stephen Burke.  Stephen captured the individuality and identity of the sculptures at the request of the artist

See more of Teresa’s work here.


LPAP Artists-in-Residence Create Work For Longbridge Light Festival

photography by Pete Sloan

Redhawk Logistica and Luke Perry created a series of deliveries to Longbridge recalling a time when the factory saw huge volumes of Goods In and Out.  The crates which had a variety of different letters on were used to make messages and were positioned in a variety of locations across Longbridge.

Stuart Whipps projected a series of photographs of the MG Rover factory in the weeks, months and years following its closure and details of a 1979 1275GT mini that will be restored in 2015 as part LPAP.

Cathy Wade transformed markers in the landscape of Longbridge through illumination.  The artist revealed the past and near future in the existing architecture at Longbridge Train Station and three disused tanks as beacons, signalling the transformation of the area, while retaining its distinct identity.

Poolman & Rowe worked in collaboration with Matthew J Watkins to create a large scale projection on Bournville College. Titled 'Close Encounters of the Longbridge Kind’ and taking inspiration from the classic science fiction film Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Bournville College was transformed into an extraordinary other worldly object.


Longbridge Light Festival

Baz ‘The Quartic Rides Again’, Photography by Henry Barton-Wong

FAMED 'WILL I BE MISSED’, Photography by Stephen Burke

static1.squarespace-1.jpg

Matthew J Watkins 'Untitled’, Photography by Stephen Burke

static1.squarespace-2.jpg

Photography by Stephen Burke

Thanks to everyone who came to Longbridge Light Festival see more of the photographs at www.LongbridgeLightFestival.co.uk 


Longbridge Artefacts

These artefacts from Longbridge Car Factory were brought in by Noel a local resident and ex-Longbridge worker.  The second photograph is a tool which was used to fit the windows into the iconic Mini.

If you have any Longbridge memorabilia we would love to see them, bring them into the LPAP | SPACE or email stephen@werk.org.uk

Photography by Stephen Burke


In-progress View

In-progress view: 

6pm - 9pm
Friday 03/10
LPAP | SPACE, Longbridge

WERK are delighted to welcome Artist Teresa Albor to the LPAP|SPACE on the 3rd October 2014 as she creates 24 sculptures in 24 hours. 

The project raises questions about cultural production and labour, exposing both the similarities and the disconnects between the making of “art” vs. the making of other goods. It also plays with the concept of the “white cube” gallery scenario where art is a precious commodity consumed by the elite. In this case, we are in a project space, adjacent to a historical factory, the work is free and is produced openly, informed by “factory” processes, such as deadlines and mass production. Cultural production is depicted as an assembly line process. In summary: this is “task-oriented” performance art, about labor and art, and the methods and systems of quantity-production. 

For more information about the artist visit: www.teresaalbor.com


Photography Workshop

© Nik Taylor © Jason Woodroffe © Lyndon Pearce © Yvonne Donald

These great photographs were taken at the last Photography Walkshop on Saturday 13th September. The group walked around the Longbridge development documenting the changing landscape of the area. To see more photographs from the walk please click here.

If you have been taking photographs around Longbridge past or present we would love to see them please send them into Stephen@werk.org.uk.


Photography Walkshop, Lpap | Space. Saturday 13th 11-1pm

© Jason Woodroofe

Join photographic artist Stephen Burke on a walkshop around the new Longbridge Town Centre, looking at the new architecture of the area and discussing the historical factory which once dominated the area.  Practice your photography skills and help document the changing physical identity of Longbridge.  

For more information please contact Stephen on stephen@werk.org.uk


A Song For The Workers of Longbridge Austin


Photographs Of The Bristol Rd Conveyor Bridge Being Deconstructed

static1.squarespace-6.jpg

© David Bromhall

Resident David Bromhall kindly shared these poignant photographs showing the deconstruction of the iconic Longbridge conveyor bridge which linked the factory to West works over the Bristol Rd.

Thanks a lot to David for sharing these with us, and if you have any material relating to Longbridge we would love to see it either drop it into the LPAP | SPACE Wed - Sat or email info@werk.org.uk.


Knitted Knockers, Saturday 23 August, 10.30am - 6pm, Lpap | Space

Join Knitted Knockers Uk at the LPAP|SPACE and help knit and crochet knockers and other smaller fundraising items.  Knitted Knockers UK are committed to providing 100% cotton breast prostheses to all meastectomy and lumpectomy ladies that request them.  Knitted Knockers are all free of charge and they will continue to be a free service.  If you can knit or crochet come join us on Saturday 23rd August where free tea, coffee and cake will be available.

LPAP are pleased to be able to support the Knitted Knockers.


Looking At Longbridge, Saturday 2nd August 11am-4pm, Lpap | Space


Archive Stories, Lpap At Ashton Levi, 30 July 4-6pm

02.jpg

Join in with artist-in-residence Cathy Wade and discover Bournville Colleges rich and fascinating past.  Bring in your memorabilia and tell us your own stories.

This event will be taking place in the wonderful Ashton Levi Coffee Shop  from 4-6pm Wednesday 30th July. 


Photography Walkshop, Saturday 19th July, Longbridge, 11am-1pm

0.jpg

© Nik Taylor, Cofton Park

If you missed out on last weeks photography walkshop around Cofton Park there will be another one happening this Saturday in the new Longbridge town centre. It will be a chance to practice your photography skills and explore perceptions of what, and where Longbridge is through its reconstruction, architecture, boundaries and significant history.

We will be meeting in the LPAP | SPACE at 11am. Please bring any camera you have even your mobile phone is a great tool!

For more information please email Stephen at stephen@werk.org.uk


Photography Walkshop, Cofton Park, 12th July, 11am - 1pm

05.jpg

© Denise Meredith, River Rea Route

Join photographic artist Stephen Burke in Cofton Park for a photography walkshop. A chance to practice your photography skills and explore perceptions of what, and where Longbridge is through its reconstruction, architecture, boundaries and significant history as wel as have a nice walk around a beautiful park!

We will be meeting at the car park off Low Hill Lane (inside the park) from 10.45am. Please bring any camera you have even your mobile phone is a great tool!

For more information please email Stephen at stephen@werk.org.uk


Bournville College Archives

The WERK team recently spent an evening going through the Bournville College archives, and found some amazing material including a box full of photographic slides of a college trip to Russia.

Photography by Jenny Duffin, see more of the photographs here.


Cathy Wade

08.jpg

Image from the Bournville College Archives

Delving back into Bournville Colleges archives revealed a trip to Russia from 1932, where lecturers had visited a range of educational establishments to research teaching methods within industry. One of the striking things was the range of documentation and the difference ways that it can function, from the cheerful informal letter to our families to the official report on the visit. There is wonderful collection of glass slides that accompany the visit, that capture the extraordinary experiences that staff at the college encountered during the visit.

10.jpg

Image taken from the Bournville College Archives

One image taken from the collection shows the view from a train window taken while crossing the frozen river Neva. Encountering this slide was a rather wonderful moment for me, as I have continued to document experiences of rail travel via social media with the hashtag #TheTrainStationAsPublicArt on Twitter. I am keen to gather more evidence of both memories and mementoes of Longbridge and Bournville College, while also looking at our experience of travel whether it’s a daily commute or visit. The Rail Station is a part of our day, looking at how we can shape and affect it is one of the key elements of my residency at Longbridge

011.jpg

© Cathy Wade

If you would like to hear more, or contribute to this project by emailing info@werk.org.uk or visit the LPAP|Space Wednesday to Saturday.

www.cathywade.co.uk


Architecture goes Back to the Future

From 7th to the 11th of April three hundred students from across the spectrum of Bournville Colleges art and design courses worked with EC LPAP artists-in-residence Cathy Wade, Antonio Roberts and Redhawk Logistica supported by Stephen Burke and Sarah Nokes on a cross college brief that explored the architecture of Longbridge and how it will be developed in the future. Students work in progress is on display in the LPAP | SPACE and has responded to the way that architecture inspires the imagination and affects the environment. Working with digital medias, collage, drawing and painting. 

Thanks to Cathy Wade, Sophia Tarr & Tamar Mcellan for bringing this together.

Film by Craig Bush


Lpap Project Update Meeting

We would like to invite you to join the WERK Team (formerly EC Arts) for an Interim Project Update Meeting on LPAP on 12th June 5pm - 6.30pm LPAP|SPACE, Longbridge Town Centre. (next to Costa)

The project has been live since October 2013 a little over six months now, and four of the artists-in-residence would like to share their research and concept development with you so far informed through their research, scoping and engagement.  The project has involved up to nine artists-in-residence who meet once a month to share their ideas and progress, we would like to open this process up to you at this important juncture.

There will be refreshments provided.

Please can you email to Sarah Nokes, E: sarah@ec-arts.com to let us know if you are able to attend.


Cathy Wade

‘What does Longbridge Look Like’

What does Longbridge look like? What stories does this place hold for us and what form do they take? Longbridge Public Art Project resident artist Cathy Wade invites you to share the memories you have of Longbridge, to see how we shape the place that we live in. You are welcome to bring in your objects big, small or somewhere in-between, slides, ceramic figurines, postcards, books, train tickets, letters, you name it. Your memento will be recorded and with your permission displayed for a short time as a living monument to the creativity and resilience of Longbridge.

Below is some of the material that residents and ex-workers brought in to the LPAP | SPACE.


Redhawk Logistica

On Thursday 29th May from 1-6pm we will be at the LPAP SPACE in Longbridge (next to Costa/entrance to Sainsbury’s Car Park) adding to our latest Collective Collage . 

The theme for this one is Longbridge during the era of Herbert Austin (1905-1941), from the formation of the company to the end of it’s founder’s reign. 

Everyone is welcome to drop in and add to the collage, stay for a while or stick and run!

tumblr_inline_n632zwhE7d1qfrv5l.jpg

Nkky Pugh

© Nikki Pugh

On the 17th May 9 people with bikes (and 1 without!) gathered at Austin Park for a guided tour around Longbridge and surrounding areas looking at issues linked to the theme of community.

The route took us from Longbridge Lane and the new regeneration works, via Austin Village, Mill Lane, the Hollymoor Centre, New Frankley, Rubery, Rednal, The Lickeys, Bristol Road, Sunbury Road and back to Bournville College.

Conversations took us from (amongst other things) scales of difference, scales of individuals, community resources, designed communities, edges, notions of thriving, links and separations, mulberries, and changing ecologies of business.

The weather was gorgeous, The Hollymoor Centre welcomed us for our lunch break (spent sat outside under the trees looking at a selection of historic maps and photos), and there was a lot of exchanging of ideas, questions and information.

A big thank you to everyone to contributed to the development of the tour and to the ride itself.

More photos from the day can be found here.

www.npugh.co.uk