Birmingham residents debut in drawing show along with European neighbours

By Mark Sheerin | 14 March 2013

Exhibition preview: Post Marks, Ikon, Birmingham, March 21 – April 1 2013

Colour photo of a group of some 20 Berliners
A Berlin community who are taking part in the Post Marks show at Ikon© Image courtesy Ikon
Contemporary art can often be so difficult to read that it barely transcends the press release, let alone linguistic barriers. So it’s worth noting that untutored drawing, while apparently naïve, has also been instrumental in bringing together four European cities for a new show at Ikon.

A once-industrialised community in Northfield, South Birmingham, has been brought together with Germans, Italians and Spaniards from Berlin, Bologna and Castellón.

All four groups have drawn for one other and passed work on via the mail. The full list of participating galleries includes Espai d’Art Contemporani de Castelló (EACC), KulturLabor in Berlin and MAMbo in Bologna.

The project, called Post Marks, has been led by Tom Jones, the West Midlands Regional Director of the Campaign for Drawing.

“For most of the participants, it was the first time they had worked in a gallery and definitely the first time their artwork has been on public display," he says.

"It is nerve-wracking for them, but we have some highly imaginative drawings that deserve our attention.”

“It has been a tremendous experience to see how our group...have grown in experience and confidence as they have worked with people from Spain, Germany and Italy," adds Emma Bower, the Learning Co-ordinator at Ikon.

The Birmingham gallery is now looking forward to hosting visitors from all four locales when the Post Marks show goes on display in their Events room later this month.

  • Open 11am-6pm (closed Monday except Bank Holidays). Admission free. Follow the gallery on Twitter @ikongallery.

Visit Mark Sheerin's contemporary art blog and follow him on Twitter.
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