Gizzago, UK by Claire Farrell

Gizzago, UK

Gizzago piloted an industrial scale game console that allowed people to experience urban spaces in new ways using alternate reality technologies. ‘The Future - Urban Arcade’ gave audiences a possible glimpse into the future of urban play and challenges video game stereotypes. Using traditional and new freeform play, the ‘Retro - Play Street’ offered LLF visitors a chance to rekindle the joy of outdoor play and remember the social value of play. The 'Public Playstation' invited players to reimagine public space and consider how it can be used to make places more liveable. Gizzago’s activities were inspired by site visits to Longbridge, specifically by the connections that world-building and video game programming have to the redevelopment of the site. Their work encouraged participants to consider Longbridge’s public spaces from new perspectives.

Samantha Williams by Claire Farrell

Samantha Williams (UK)

Artist Samantha Williams was commissioned as part of Longbridge Light Festival 2016 to create a collaborative work with students from Bournville College that responded to the festival theme 'The Shadow Factory'

The artist created 'The Play Factory' which was an interactive installation that considered the effect the Shadow Factory scheme and the war effort had on play and leisure during WW2. Rather than producing ammunition and aeroplanes, 'The Play Factory' produced joy and encouraged participation from both adults and children alike.

During the war effort toy factories were given over to the war effort too, rendering toys expensive. Many children created street games from what they could find or would make games with adult family members from cheap materials. Williams used board games, street games and toys from this wartime period as inspiration for the activities for LLF, offering professional development opportunities for Bournville College art students to get involved in the creation of the work

Industry of the Ordinary by Claire Farrell

Industry of The Ordinary (USA)

Chicago based artists Industry of The Ordinary were invited by WERK in March 2016 to develop a permanent artwork for Greenlands Select Social Club in Longbridge.  

The artists worked with the committee and club members at the club develop a permanent art work titled ‘Thousand Trades’. This title comes from the central role Birmingham played in the Industrial Revolution and the plethora of trades that were once present in the city. Greenlands represents a living monument to the history of the region in this regard, as many tradespeople have passed through its doors over the decades.

The artist's researched nearly 3,000 club member’s names that have been engraved on two new doors that, replacing the old entrance and exit doors at the club.

This work pays tribute to the concept of social club members, the camaraderie, unions and unity of a wealth of skills, craftsmanship and tenacity that enabled the clubs independent existence. This is a story that is echoed across the UK, social clubs have been significant contributors to the fabric of society for decades, some are declining, but all are defiant. 

As part of the artists research they undertook a series of recorded interviews with members of the club you can listen to the recordings here.

Ian Richards, UK by Peter Haynes

Sarah Taylor Silverwood, UK by Claire Farrell

Matthew J Watkins, UK by Peter Haynes

Pitaya, FRA by Peter Haynes

FAMED, GER by Peter Haynes


German artists FAMED produced 'WILL I BE MISSED?' for Longbridge Light Festival 2014. The artists installed a neon work above the entrance to Longbridge train station. The text read 'WILL I BE MISSED?' The question 'who' or 'what' will be missed is not only pointing to the past and present, but looks ahead to the future.

The artist duo FAMED produce their work site-specifically. Physical, social and political aspects are considered and transformed into pieces that manifest in a variety of media and often combine architectural, sculptural, textual and performative approaches. They analyse productivity, presence and absence, visibility and the possibility of representation in the context of contemporary art and society.

Ruth Claxton, UK by Peter Haynes

Ruth Claxton, UK

Artist Ruth Claxton produced 'Lantern Parade' for Longbridge Light Festival 2014 in collaboration with Turves Green Girls School. 'Lantern Parade' featured a series of apparently unlit lanterns. In fact the lanterns were coated with a special retro-reflective paint and activated by light. The audience were encouraged to shine a torch or use the flash on their camera to light the lanterns up.

Ruth Claxton is known for her large scale, site-responsive installations and public sculptures which often use reflective and mirrored surfaces to create complex, interconnecting visual ‘worlds’. Referencing display systems and architecture, and drawing on languages of art, craft and design, these works usually consist of a series of evolving components that coalesce for a moment in a particular space and then move on. The relationship between object and surface, and attempts to choreograph and orchestrate ‘looking’ are key to her practice, alongside a general interest in the digital mediation of contemporary life.

Amy Greaves School of Dance, UK by Claire Farrell

Amy Greaves School of Dance, UK

The Amy Greaves School of Dance performed a sci-fi inspired dance routine at Sainsbury's cafe for Longbridge Light Festival 2014.

The dance school caters for all age groups and abilities. They hold classes including ballet, tap, freestyle, Rock 'n' Roll, musical theatre, street, cheerleading and contemporary dance at Rowheath Pavilion in Bournville and Turves Green Boys School.

Austin Houldsworth, UK by Peter Haynes

Austin Houldsworth, UK

Austin Houldsworth was commissioned as part of Longbridge Light Festival 2014 and created 'We-Currency', an interactive light art work.

Born 1983 in Macclesfield, England. Austin is a researcher at the Royal College of Art, Design Interactions department and co-founder of the FOM design awards. His work takes an experimental approach towards design; often leading to the development of new methodologies that generate alternative perspectives and challenge the status quo.

Institute for Boundary Interactions, UK by Peter Haynes

Institute for Boundary Interactions

As part of Longbridge Light Festival 2014 artists Institute for Boundary Interactions exhibited 'Town Crier'. The art work could be seen and heard roaming around Longbridge Light Festival, gathering digital social archaeology from the area and broadcasting it through its speaker throughout the evening.

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