Dates for your Diary this Autumn!

It may be the end of August but things are hotting up already for the autumn term! Here at The Golovine we’ve put together an overview of some of the exciting things being organised in and around the department of Art History, Film and Visual Studies. So, whether you are a prospective student, a new or returning student, an alumnus or just interested in the arts, we are sure you’ll find something here to tempt you! We look forward to seeing you at one or more of these events soon!

It all kicks off with an Open Day on Saturday 14th September that includes departmental talks, accommodation tours, and lots of information about studying at Birmingham. Let’s hope the campus will look like this again!


Come and visit the Art History, Film and Visual Studies stand in the Bramall Building from 9am-4pm.To book a place, visit this link. There’s another one on 26th October too!

Fresher’s week starts on 23rd September – start by grabbing your free copy of The Incredible Human Journey by Professor Alice Roberts, this year’s choice for GRAB, the Great Read at Birmingham 2013!


The book traces the origins of the human race from Africa through our colonisation of the globe. Using scientific methods, from analysis of climate changes to human genetics, whilst also exploring art, culture and society, the book encourages the reader to ask some of the great questions in life: who are we, and how did we get here?

The weekend of 28th September is a bumper one! First, we are running our Taster Day for Year 12 and 13 Students and their teachers from 11-4pm in the Barber Institute. If you are currently deciding whether studying History of Art at University is really for you, come along and give it a try! You’ll be able to get a real feel for what it’s like to study History of Art, through a series of mini lectures, seminars, and gallery sessions on subjects including Botticelli, Damien Hirst, women artists, and cinema and art. You will also have the opportunity to meet current students and staff, find out about careers an Art History degree can lead to, and obtain useful tips for your UCAS application! Lunch is provided but registration is essential.

Already at Brum? Well, the same day you can take part in a writing workshop with Barber writer-in-residence, Jacqui Rowe. Sonic Visions takes place in the Lady Barber Gallery where visual works will be interpreted as music, and you can experiment with mixing the senses in prose and poetry. Tickets are £6 or £4 for concessions and students.

And as if that wasn’t enough, the same evening sees the Barber Mixer event for new and returning students. If you’re (re)joining us in September, make sure that you come along to the Barber at 7pm to meet like-minded arts lovers, course-mates, academics and Barber staff. There will be live music, art activities (including commissioned portraits), drinks, pizza and art society stalls – all for a fiver! Keep an eye out on Facebook about getting your ticket.

Moving into October,the Digbeth Speaks oral histories project launches its exhibition on 3rd. Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund Digbeth Speaks has created a time capsule of contemporary Digbeth, an area of inner city Birmingham, during 2013. The project has been devised and led by young members of the Friends of Birmingham Archives and Heritage, Library of Birmingham. Many of the dedicated team of young volunteers comprise postgraduate students and alumni from the University of Birmingham, including our own Carly Hegenbarth!

Digbeth speaks file

A bit later in the month, on the 16th at 7.30pm, world-renowned choir The Sixteen come to the Barber. Their concert will feature some of the best-loved classics of Tudor and Jacobean church music together with madrigals by Tallis, Byrd and Gibbons, alongside pieces by Britten, Tippett and MacMillan including the ‘Five Spirituals’ from A Child of Our Time and the ‘Choral Dances’ from Gloriana.


Birmingham University Singers will feature, alongside The Sixteen, in a performance of Chilcott’s Tallis Canon. For more information see here.

This year, Birmingham is home to the seventh Cine Excess international film conference and festival which brings together leading film scholars and cult film makers. The theme of this year’s conference is European Erotic Cinema: Identity, Desire and Disgust and events are organised in conjunction with the University’s newly-formed B-Film (Birmingham Centre for Film Studies) and the Midlands Arts Centre, which is hosting the event from 15-17 November. Cine-Excess VII considers Europe’s long and controversial relationship with the erotic image, considering the extent to which cult European traditions of desire reveal fascinating issues of nation and regional distinction.

Cine Excess

Wondering what you might do with your History of Art degree? On Wednesday 20th November we are holding our Careers Day (2-5pm) where you’ll have the opportunity to hear from graduates of our department talking about their career paths and current jobs. Speakers will include staff from the Wallace Collection in London, Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery, and Matt Carey-Williams, director of the White Cube Gallery. More information to follow soon!

The end of November (30th) sees the opening of BMAG’s Photorealism exhibition – the first and largest European retrospective of this highly realistic painting genre. Photorealism begin in America in the late 1960s with artists painting realistic depictions of everyday objects and scenes like cars, highways and diners which, at first glance, appear to be photographs, like this example by Birmingham-born artist John Salt.

John Salt, White Chevy, 1975
John Salt, White Chevy, 1975

The exhibition features work by photorealist artists from the 60s to the present, including John Salt, Chuck Close, and Peter Maier and explores the questions and debates raised by the movement on what makes an authentic image and the ways in which we perceive the world.

Phew…that takes us nearly up until the Christmas holidays, so we’ll stop there while the sun is still shining and the evenings are still long (at least at the time of writing)! But keep an eye on The Golovine and our Facebook page for more updates – there are bound to be some Christmas-related festivities to announce!

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