Hidden behind the large Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery is a small Gallery called The Waterhall Gallery. Within this exhibition site is the collection ‘Art From Elsewhere’. This is a collection of nineteen pieces of work from nineteen different artists from all across the world.
As you walk in you embrace the white walls and the individual freedom you have to walk around for as many hours as you want and just really enjoy the pieces of work that are created by nineteen highly talented people.
The main thing that I have enjoyed about this exhibition is the range of creativity. Each piece made is different whether it is a film, photography or an illustration. Whether it’s a series or single piece. Whether it has an obvious theme or a hidden theme waiting to be discovered. The curator of this exhibition, David Elliott, picked these pieces due to the collective theme of “Postcolonial experiences and failed utopias”. For me I can definitely see that as a theme, I felt the effects that war has created on the different artists countries, whether it be them participating in war themselves or if they were a citizen during this time. I felt the eerie coldness and harsh affect that the people in the world can have upon others. And because there are nineteen totally different pieces of work that share different themes it really pushes your thoughts on different ideologies and opinions. By the end of the exhibition I was really questioning my beliefs and it has some how made me gain this new set activism that I am passionate about.
I don’t want to mention all nineteen artists that I viewed as I urge you to go for yourselves as I want you to enjoy this exhibition alone and uninfluenced, but here are a couple of my personal highlights. Of course I could not carry on without mentioning one of the artists, Barbra Kruger. Having studied her controversial work during my A-Level studies, I can honestly say it was an honour to see her work. They were just as powerful, yet perhaps smaller, than I had imagined. Another piece of work that really surprised me was the work of Emily Jacir and her film, ‘Crossing Sudan’. We here in the news reports everyday about the discrimination citizen’s face within these countries, yet Jacir brings more reality to the situation then any news report could ever do. Watching this movie my heart was racing my palms are sweating. Jacir manages to capture older people struggling at the side of the road, the higher authority and within this the consent busyness of everyone rushing around. This film was shown by projector in a small one person black booth with a smaller television by the side of your feet, adding to the claustrophobic feeling I was experiencing.
It makes you feel grateful and hopeful to the incredible support that artists are receiving, just like the Art Fund, as they will be able to create more amazing work for us to be in ore of. It is not just a photographic exhibition; it’s an unbelievable range of art. This work will be shown through six different exhibitions through the UK, all free, so go by yourself and take just a couple hours of your day to really open your mind to the way others are living.