Whilst the rest of the country associates festival season with chilled cider, denim cut-offs and straw hats, Birmingham folk know that festivals are best enjoyed with a hot toddy and a nice snuggly pullover.
October is Birmingham’s big cultural festival season. There’s the book festival, the comedy festival, the Supersonic indie-arts fest, the ‘zine fest and now , new for 2012, there’s Eye Candy.
The four-day festival, 11th-14th October, is a celebration of visual popular culture, including illustration, art and design. It has been organised by Fused Magazine, in collaboration with Birmingham Zine Festival and the Southside Business Improvement District.
Events will be taking place around the city’s buzzing Southside district. Cafes, bars and theatres will be hosting exhibitions, workshops and entertainment, making the festival an ideal opportunity to explore Birmingham’s Chinese Quarter, Gay Village and Theatreland.
A festival highlight will be the UK’s first showcase of New York based Illustrator Jeremyville’s Community Announcement series. The genial guides to life will be appearing all around Southside for the festival weekend.
Zoe’s Magic Camera and augmented reality walk will be bringing art to unexpected places. iPhones and iPads will be used to make art appear on a walking tour of the city. More low-tech art experiences will be available at screen printing and ‘zine in a day workshops.
On Saturday 13th October Sam Pierpoint will be running drop-in shoe illustration sessions at Birmingham Hippdrome’s IMI Studios. A talk programme will be run on Friday 12th October, with an afternoon of fascinating discussion covering album covers and the “art of sound”.
The musical theme will continue with auction of re-imagined album covers, with aritsts being asked to recreate the covers of classic albums by Midlands bands past and present. All proceeds from the auction will go to OxjamBrum’s 2012 fundraising.
All of the Eye Candy activities are free, making it an ideal way to spend a weekend in Birmingham without spending a fortune.
Information about the festival will be available from the Eye Candy pop up space, located in Gallan House. The full festival programme is available online.
Images: Amy Winehouse by Benjamin Gudel Community Service Announcement by Jeremyville