The areas of Digbeth and Highgate in Birmingham have been part of the fabric of the city for a long, long time. Each area is distinct, different and unique, with their own communities of residents and workers and each inextricably linked. But a place is nothing without its people, the stories they tell and the histories they create together.
Friction Arts has inhabited the area, producing art projects and events with, for and alongside other residents for over twenty years. The area is hugely important for Friction Arts, who have produced ‘Echoes’ with the support of HLF, Birmingham Museums Trust, Arts Council England and others.
This is not a historical exhibition; some ‘facts’ may be wrong, or altered to better reflect the stories that inspired them. ‘The only thing truer than truth is the story’ and it’s the stories that make a place, that make it unique, so this exhibition reflects the stories we’ve been collecting over our years in the area. You’ll see (and sometimes hear) the tales we’ve been told, about work, about play and about the intersection between the two.
‘Echoes’ is an on-going programme of work by Friction Arts, and their collaborators and friends. Alongside this exhibition was another in the Community Art Gallery at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, which ran until September 2013.
‘Echoes’ was free to attend but places were strictly limited (12 people per tour). The exhibition was initially open Thursday, Friday and Saturday each week from Thursday 22 August until Saturday 16 November 2013, but we had to extend it due to demand with some extra shows in January 2014.