A new online collaboration with artists from across the West Midlands is bringing the Barber Institute of Fine Arts
into peoples homes during the Covid-19 crisis.
Anyone in the world, with access to the internet, can bring Barber Home into their own space and access practical art activities and workshops, share reflections on the collection and join in online events through a series of weekly projects for all ages being launched on the Barbers website every Thursday, starting today (30 April).
The Barbers Learning and Engagement team are working with regional artists to create new and original responses to the gallerys world-class collection, providing access to art while the gallery is closed.
First to go live today, is Birminghams Infinite Opera. They delivered an innovative and compelling pop-up performance in the gallery in March, inspired by an icon of modernist sculpture, Naum Gabos Linear Construction in Space No. 1, 1942-43. Alongside the performance script, Infinite Opera will share a written meditation on the original performance.
Barber Home will enable artists to work with students, families and our general audiences through three different streams of work. The innovative Barber Lates programme, which has featured Birmingham academics and artists drawing inspiration from each other and the collection to create exciting cross-disciplinary events, is the model for sessions aimed at adults. The Barbers sell-out Creative Sunday Workshops for children aged four to 12 years old will also find their on-line counterpart in Barber Home, in the form of downloadable workshop PDFs for families to enjoy together.
New Barber Home projects will be posted on the website each week, where they will remain for audiences to access at their leisure.
Flora Kay, the Barbers Learning and Engagement Manager, explained that Barber Home has been devised as a way of engaging audiences under lockdown, whilst also sustaining creative relationships with artists and freelancers.
Barber Home allows us to connect people with the Barber while we cant physically have access to the collection and exhibitions, said Flora. We are offering people reflective responses to the collection, interactive activities and practical workshops. The programme is still evolving in exciting ways and we hope it offers opportunities for the team to work with artistic partners for new collaborations in the future.
The Barbers Director, Nicola Kalinsky, said: Covid-19 is the most significant global tragedy of our generation and we feel strongly that, even though our contribution is small compared to front-line endeavours, the wonderful resources of the Barber should be deployed to cheer and sustain. Supporting our local artists and practitioners, these new activities and content packages are offered in a bid to stimulate and nourish our audiences, wherever they may be and whenever they want to use them.