Image credit: Ronan Hughes (Regional Director, GRAHAM), Rob Valentine (Director for Birmingham at Bruntwood Works), Cheryl Jones (Director, Grand Union), Antia Bhalla (Board Director for Creative Industries and Culture at GBSLEP) inside of Grade II listed building Junction Works. Photograph by David Rowan.

Image credit: Ronan Hughes (Regional Director, GRAHAM), Rob Valentine (Director for Birmingham at Bruntwood Works), Cheryl Jones (Director, Grand Union), Antia Bhalla (Board Director for Creative Industries and Culture at GBSLEP) inside of Grade II listed building Junction Works. Photograph by David Rowan.

Birmingham art gallery and artist studios complex Grand Union is beginning the transformation of Junction Works, a Grade II listed building on Fazeley Street, Digbeth.

The first phase of works, starting this summer, will renovate the front part of the building, creating four new office suites for regional creative sector businesses by the beginning of 2022. Homes England has been working closely with Grand Union to pump prime this project. It will eventually see the charity’s gallery and artist studios relocate from their current home in Minerva Works.

Junction Works, a beautiful mid-nineteenth century building, is located in the Warwick Bar conservation area, at the junction of the Grand Union and Digbeth Branch canals. It has been empty for several years after suffering fire damage in 2004.

Grand Union’s fundraising campaign, with a target of £2.6m to undertake Phase Two works, will see the opening of a brand-new public gallery space, cafe, events space and artists’ studios in this stunning heritage building.

Grand Union opened in its current site in 2010, providing much needed high quality, affordable workspace for artists and a public gallery that has built an international reputation for presenting cutting edge contemporary art and supporting artists at pivotal points in their careers. Last year it hosted Jamie Crewe’s exhibition Love & Solidarity, for which the artist received a Turner Prize Bursary in 2020. Grand Union’s Programme Director Kim McAleese has been part of the panel of judges for the 2021 iteration of The Turner Prize launching at The Herbert Gallery, Coventry later this year. Grand Union also has an innovative approach to working collaboratively with communities in the city. They have recently launched a mini documentary about The Growing Project, a community-led growing scheme bringing artists and people who are vulnerably housed to transform unloved spaces into active shared gardens.

Grand Union’s Director, Cheryl Jones said:
This is such an exciting development for our capital project, which will transform our organisation and the opportunities we can offer to people to experience, connect with and create visual art. Collaboration is key to our work at Grand Union and so we are delighted to be working with GBSLEP and so many brilliant businesses in the city’s property sector on this project. Their generous investment and support mean we can begin to create a sustainable organisation that is able to provide inclusive cultural activity long into the future. In addition we are proud to be bringing an historically significant and beautiful building like Junction Works back to life.”

Find out more about the capital project here.

 

Birmingham art gallery and artist studios complex Grand Union is beginning the transformation of Junction Works, a Grade II listed building on Fazeley Street, Digbeth.

https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/we-hope-can-survive-digbeth-20264337

Centrala has been a fixture in Digbeth for almost ten years but the pandemic has forced it to run out of cash and face an uncertain future which could see its doors close forever. – via Birmingham Mail

Credit: Installation view, Love & Solidarity, Jamie Crewe, Grand Union Gallery, Birmingham, 2020 Photographer: Patrick Dandy.

Credit: Installation view, Love & Solidarity, Jamie Crewe, Grand Union Gallery, Birmingham, 2020
Photographer: Patrick Dandy.

Grand Union is celebrating artist Jamie Crewe’s selection for a Turner Bursary, having been nominated for their sister exhibitions: Love & Solidarity and Solidarity & Love at Grand Union, Birmingham, and Humber Street Gallery, Hull. Earlier in the year Tate announced that it would award one-off bursaries of £10,000 to 10 artists in place of this year’s Turner Prize, as a way to support a large selection of artists through this precarious and uncertain time.

Showing work simultaneously across two venues, Jamie Crewe’s body of work comprises videos, sculptures, drawing and writing to explore ideas of identity, power, desire, community and history. The work takes inspiration from Radclyffe Hall’s 1928 novel The Well of Loneliness, and its lasting impressions on generations of LGBTQIA+ people. The exhibitions consider places, cultures, histories, communities, and individuals that are tied to each other, whether they like it or not. Tate remarked that the jury for the Turner Bursary “particularly praised Crewe’s dynamic and poetic retellings of mythology and literature while exploring contemporary notions of gender.”

This is the first collaboration of its kind between Grand Union and Humber Street Gallery, Hull’s dedicated contemporary visual art space. Bluntly split, this body of work survives in partial form, spread across two cities, two venues, and two exhibitions. This is in accordance with its themes; together, and apart, Love & Solidarity and Solidarity & Love test the possibility of living with a wound.

Love & Solidarity opened at Grand Union earlier this year, but the exhibition and gallery had to close due to the pandemic. Grand Union is planning to re-open the exhibition by appointment to provide an opportunity for audiences to see the work, adhering to social distancing guidelines. 

Cheryl Jones, Director at Grand Union, said:

“We are so pleased for Jamie receiving this well-deserved accolade for such a thoughtful and inspiring exhibition, which now feels more relevant than ever. This, coupled with news that The British Art Show 9 will be opening in Wolverhampton next March, marks an exciting opportunity for the West Midlands. It is an important recognition of the incredible visual arts work that happens across this region.”

This news coincides with Grand Union celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2020. The milestone also comes as Grand Union has recently become a charity and is spearheading a £3.25m project to bring a Grade II listed building on Fazeley Street, Digbeth, Birmingham, back into use. Working with Homes England, they will transform the derelict Junction Works building (former Birmingham Canal Offices) into a new contemporary art gallery and artist studios.

The recipients of the Turner Bursary 2020 are Arika; Liz Johnson Artur; Oreet Ashery; Shawanda Corbeet; Jamie Crewe; Sean Edwards; Sidsel Meineche Hansen; Ima-Abasi Okon; Imran Perretta; Alberta Whittle. 

Further details about the Birmingham exhibition and programme can be found at www.grand-union.org.uk.

Details of the Hull exhibition and programme can be found at www.humberstreetgallery.co.uk and www.absolutelycutured.co.uk  

 

Grand Union is celebrating artist Jamie Crewe’s selection for a Turner Bursary, having been nominated for their sister exhibitions: ‘Love & Solidarity’ and ‘Solidarity & Love’ at Grand Union, Birmingham, and Humber Street Gallery, Hull. Earlier in the year Tate announced that it would award one-off bursaries of £10,000 to 10 artists in place of this year’s Turner Prize, as a way to support a large selection of artists through this precarious and uncertain time.