Art that connects people

Friction Arts have been making ‘art where you live’ for over 23 years. Friction listen to people, work with them and then translate their thoughts and ideas into high quality contemporary artworks which communicate to the wider world whilst remaining true to the voices of the people they originate with. These artworks may be performances, installations, interventions, publications or whatever is appropriate to the context of the project. Friction firmly believe in the transformative nature of the arts, with communities and individuals, and are committed to expanding the reach of the arts into places they have not been before.

Marketing Time

Marketing time exhibition

Images from our November 8th outing at the bootsale. Photos by Paul Stringer

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We braved the weather last Sunday for our first full outing of Mark(et)ing Time at the Sunday bootsale.  Though, as you can see, we had lots of fun, the rain kept a lot of people away.  So, in true friction style, we’re not letting that stop us.  Consequently we will be reprising our intervention this Sunday 15th November, 8am to 12pm. So you have another chance, if you didn’t make it along – hope to see you there. More details below:



For the last few months 7 artists have been inhabiting the Sunday morning bootsale at the Birmingham Wholesale Market, getting to know people, running stalls – getting up incredibly early as  a result  – and now we’re ready to share the results of our research with you. There’ll be five artists stalls, scattered among the many others, for you to seek out, while experiencing the ambience of this unique social space. It may be a challenge, many of the stalls look like they may have been curated (of course they have, in a way), but we promise it’ll be fun.
If you only get up early on one Sunday this year, please make it this one.
See you there

Thanks to Paul Stringer for the photos

About Us

Friction is based at The Edge, a former industrial unit on the border of Digbeth and Highgate in central Birmingham. We are linked to our local community through friends, personal history and professional connections to local groups. We aim to deliver work that is relevant to the people in our immediate area and which responds to the rich cultures that exist here.

We also celebrate the unique character of Birmingham, Britain’s flagship hyper-diverse city, Britain’s youngest city, and the cradle of British industry. Our work is always open to people from across the city and is designed to have a universal appeal, even if it aims to involve participants from a particular community or area.

Our major programmes over the next couple of years will be focusing on markets, particularly Birmingham’s  Wholesale Market and the Sunday bootsale that is hosted there – both vital to the culture of the city and under threat due to development of the city centre. But we also recognise the importance of markets generally, as social spaces and foci for community activity, as well as a place to get bargains, and we hope to develop an ambitious international programme of artworks in, with and about markets across the world.

Roma market, Sofia Bulgaria

Roma market, Sofia Bulgaria

Friction is an artist led organisation, with a focus on constant research and development to generate new ideas. We aim to understand the wider trends in society that are reflected in the place we work, how those are understood all over the globe and the different responses people take to them outside our immediate area. We undertake work internationally so that we can discover fresh perspectives on domestic challenges, and perhaps uncover new and exciting solutions. It can also be an opportunity to undertake experimental work in very different contexts. This year we’ve worked in Bulgaria, Finland, Hungary and the Netherlands.




2 responses on “Friction Home

  1. Lisa Karim

    I am an ex-resident of Highgate with a family history in the area from 1952. My Grandfather was the first Kashmiri in the area.
    I have set up and run Old HIghgateonians which is a facebook community group, a website and an individual display show for history events.
    Looking forward to working with the great team at Friction Arts in the future.

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