Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Culture in Brum

My exploration of cultural things in my home city started on the afternoon of Sunday the 8th of August when I visited the Ikon Gallery. I was rather taken with the exhibition currently on at the Ikon, This Could Happen To You: Ikon in the 1970s, a collection of art work from the decade that the Ikon grew from a glass kiosk in the bullring to a shop front in the Palisades.

I've never been to the Ikon before, in fact my only association with the place in the past is limited to an unsuccessful job application as a student. I liked the gallery a lot, it was a good size for some laid back art looking at. On the way to the Ikon I also popped my head inside the gallery at the ICC which currently has some paintings by Bob Dylan. This gallery is a lot of fun because the paintings are for sale, and so you can see how much people spend on this sort of thing .

Next up I strolled through the city centre and was surprised and impressed to see three great busking acts, including a lovely jazz guitarist and a gypsy jazz Django Reinhardt type trio. I noticed that The Staffordshire Hoard was once again on display at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. The large crowds that flocked to the hoard when it was on temporary display shortly after it was found have happily gone and I was able to enjoy the unbelievably delicate and beautiful pieces in relative solitude. Like everyone I was very impressed with the intricate work that had gone into the hoard, and it made me smile to see some pieces had little signs by them explaining cheerfully that no one is really sure what they are.

I finished off my cultural Sunday with a visit to the Yardbird Jazz Club, where my friend Brains for Breakfast was playing a set at The Free Love Club. Mr Breakfast played a great set and the two of us had a good time enjoying the many wonderful acts that played and meeting some cool people.

So Brum impressed me on this occasion, and I recommend each of the places I visited. I'll be back to each of them because one of the great things about all of them is that they constantly have new exhibits and work to share.

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