Painter Stephen Earl Rogers has taken his latest inspiration from a 1980’s Reader’s Digest self-help, family manual. Entitled ‘What to do in an Emergency’, the book contains information and illustrations ranging from first aid, to self-defence and survival tips.
Stephen invited independent, artists and producers from the cultural industries, based in or associated with Birmingham, to appear in the paintings and asked them to choose one of the scenarios.
When he approached team Fused (image above) to take part we scoured the book and opted for this ‘Jab to the Eyes’ pose – we must have been on deadline! We were also allowed to choose the colour. A few photo’s, one sitting later and, we’re sure, painstaking hours of time by Stephen, and the results will be seen as part of Ikon Gallery’s Autumn Almanac from the 17th – 20th November.
Other practitioners featured are Ian and Pippa Francis of 7 Inch Cinema, artist duo Juneau Projects, writer and curator Matt Price (pictured above), artist Tom Ranahan, the Founding Directors of artist-led space Eastside Projects and a self-portrait.
“I approached each of the subjects and asked them to look through the book and choose a particular illustration that they were attracted to. I offered a limited range of colours to choose from and only permitted myself to add white to the body of the chosen colours. These monochrome paintings are transcriptions and re-enactments of the illustrations found in the book”. Explains Stephen. “The book’s role is to inform the reader of how to be self-sufficient in difficult circumstances, an important quality for anyone involved in the cultural industries, a precarious life with no clear career paths or financial certainty”.
Showing Thursday 17 November – Sunday 20 November, 11am – 6pm at Ikon Gallery, Birmingham (Second Floor Galleries). Free admission.
There are a series of events taking place for the Autumn Almanac:
Oliver Beer – The Resonance Project: Pay and Display
17-20 November, First Floor Galleries
In June 2010 artist Oliver Beer worked with Ikon and singers from Ex Cathedra to create a sound piece at Pershore Street Car Park in Birmingham.
17-20 November, Second Floor Galleries
Specially selected by Ikon’s Director, Jonathan Watkins, these posters assert the breadth of artistic talent featured at Ikon during the last eleven years.
7 Inch Cinema – 17.11.11,
Thursday 17 November, 7-10pm
£3 on the door (Or free if it’s your birthday. Proof required)
An evening of short films and music, taking place on and inspired by the seventeenth of November.
Moseley Folk Festival – Treetop Flyers
Friday 18 November, 7.30pm – 10.30pm
£4 plus booking fee from www.moseleyfolk.co.uk or £6 on the door . Five-piece Treetop Flyers recently earned themselves a slot at Glastonbury’s prestigious Other Stage after winning the Emerging Talent Competition earlier this year.
Celebrating Sanctuary Birmingham – Crossroad Collision
Saturday 19 November, 2-3pm
Free, Donations welcome
Celebrating Sanctuary Birmingham harnesses the arts to raise awareness of the contributions that refugees make to the UK, and in particular to the city of Birmingham.
Slow Boat Sessions
Saturday 19 November, 7.30-10pm
£5 on the door
In September, Ikon Youth Programme’s (IYP) Slow Boat hosted a series of performances by local musicians, embarking on a journey of sound along Birmingham’s canals.
Birmingham Contemporary Music Group
Sunday 20 November, 2-4pm
BCMG gives a rare performance of all 34 of Luciano Berio’s Duetti for two violins, with a sprinkling of solo pieces by composers including Howard Skempton and Oliver Knussen.
Capsule present Andrew Moscardo-Parker and the ensemble Ore
Sunday 20 November, 8-11pm
£6 (available via www.theticketsellers.co.uk and on the door)
Andrew Moscardo-Parker performs as Lash Frenzy, exploring the action of playing, turning performances into immersive, participatory events.