Midlands Art Papers 6 (2023)

Special Issue: Exile and Migration in Regional Collections

Midlands Art Papers is a collaborative online journal, working between the University of Birmingham and 13 partner institutions to research and explore the world class works of art and design in public collections across the Midlands.  

Editorial: Exile and Migration in Regional Collections Detail from Lovis Corinth's portrait of Mainzer

Midlands Art Papers special issue Editor Camilla Smith introduces this sixth issue of MAP and discusses the role that the diverse experiences of migration play in shaping our regional collections and why this matters.

Regional Galleries and their Hidden Histories: Uncovering Migrant Networks in the Garman Ryan Collection Black and white photograph of Kathleen Garman and Lucian Freud at an event – Freud is wearing a suit jacket and with white open-necked shirt and holds a full glass and a cigarette. He appears to lean in towards Garman. Both look towards the photographer

PhD student Elizabeth Lamle explores the migrant history and interpersonal relationships of the Garman Ryan collection at The New Art Gallery Walsall. With a focus on the unique connection between Rabindranath Tagore and Lucian Freud, she discusses how the display of this collection highlights the interconnected nature of émigré networks, and their role in shaping the production, acquisition, and display of artworks.

In conversation: Photographer Chris Neophytou on Place, Identity and Migration An old man in a white vest lying on a blanket, on the grass, in the garden. In the foreground, a long line of small child’s racing cars have been carefully arranged.

In 2022, Birmingham Museums Trust purchased eleven photographs from the series ‘The Planting of a Fig Tree’ by the contemporary photographer and publisher Chris Neophytou. MAP special issue editor Camilla Smith spoke to Chris in May 2023 to find out more about how both the Midlands and family migration histories shape his photographic practice.

Midlands Art Trail: Exile and Migration at the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum A bright yellow flag featuring a large red hexagonal shape and a black circle, resembling a man. The red shape is covered in fifty-four black stars, and a black and green stripe down the middle.

Adi Noy has created a trail of nine artworks and material objects featured in Coventry’s Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, centred around the theme of exile and migration. This trail highlights some of the gallery’s most unique and relevant objects, and explores how different people have expressed their own experiences with migration through diverse creative and innovative media.

On Exhibit: The more things change… at Wolverhampton Art Gallery A photograph of a gallery space. The walls are painted dark grey and the floor is carpeted. On one wall there are three framed posters and a screen. The other wall has a timeline placed in the letters BLK in white font with yellow sticky notes. In the centre of the room is a large square wooden table surrounded by wooden stools. The table has a screen, a folder, leaflets, and other pieces of paper on it.

The more things change… was an exhibition of work by key members of the Blk Art Group that ran at Wolverhampton Art Gallery from April to July 2023. Emily Langridge explores the extent to which it challenged historic perceptions of the Blk Art Group’s work through its innovative foregrounding of materiality and aesthetic practice.