Silent Signal

Silent Signal is a group exhibition bringing together six artists with six leading biomedical scientists to explore genetics, cell biology, immunology and epidemiology through animation.
Each work is the result of an artist closely collaborating with a scientist over a period of two years to produce an artistic response to their scientific research.

Sited between Vivid Projects and University of Birmingham, the works raise questions about what our genetic code is, how our immune system functions, how disease is spread, and what the future applications and impact of the research into these areas might be for us all.

Silent Signal is devised and produced by Animate Projects, and is supported by a Wellcome Trust Arts Award and the Garfield Weston Foundation, and presented in Birmingham by Vivid Projects.

Inheriting Rome

Look at one of the coins you’re carrying today: you’ll see the Queen’s portrait facing right and Latin script around the royal head.

It seems our coins have looked this way forever – and that’s nearly true. But why? This exhibition uses money to explore and question our deep-seated familiarity with the Roman Empire’s imagery. Britain is not the only nation, empire or state to channel ancient Rome in this way: the Barber’s excellent collection of coins from the Byzantine Empire – as well as examples from Hungary, Georgia and Armenia – illustrate both the problems and possibilities of being genuine heirs of Rome.

Attempting to uncover the political uses of Rome’s legacy, this exhibition encourages the visitor to ponder why we are so often told of the empire’s importance – and whose interests such imagery serves.

Black Country Lungs: In Conversation


Black Country Lungs is a unique collaboration between Multistory, Dutch photographer Corinne Noordenbos, and people with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

Join us for a unique opportunity to hear Corinne Noordenbos discuss the Black Country Lungs project followed by a panel discussion exploring what collaborations between artists, researchers and scientists can bring to understanding the human condition.

Panellists include: John Middleton (President, UK Faculty of Health); Peymane Adab (Public Health, University of Birmingham), Becky Sexton (Project Manager, Multistory), Kelly Redden-Rowley (Specialist Respiratory Physiotherapist, Sandwell Community Respiratory Service) and Dr Max Matonhodze (Respiratory Consultant, Walsall Manor Hospital).

Following the discussion there will be tea and coffee and an opportunity to buy a signed copy of Black Country Lungs.

Presented by Multistory in partnership with Research and Cultural Collections.


From 1960s minimalism to richly allegorical prints and paintings of the 1990s, this exhibition explores the visual language of internationally acclaimed artist John Walker, showcasing a selection of works from the University of Birmingham’s Campus Art Collection.

Research & Cultural Collections is hosting a number of exciting events through which you can learn more about the exhibition and the works of John Walker. To find out more please visit:

Presented by Research & Cultural Collections at the University of Birmingham.

My Route

Sampad South Asian Arts presents content from their recent community heritage project My Route, a project which captured, shared and preserved the vibrant and culturally rich heritage of Birmingham’s Stratford Road (and surrounding areas).

Over the last 60 years this road has welcomed many new residents from across the globe, whose lives and experiences have

created diverse and colorful tales. The exhibition, which combines photographs and audio, paints a picture of what it is like to live and work on Stratford Road, giving insight into the rich social history of the area.

My Route was supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund. The exhibition at University of Birmingham is presented in partnership with Arts & Science Festival.

Stones & Bones

Visit the Stones & Bones exhibition and take a trip through time!

At different times the Midlands was like the Mississippi delta, the Bahamas and the Sahara desert. More recently, the area was a cold glacial landscape with mammoths and woolly rhinos, separated by warmer periods when hippos and lions roamed the area.

Come and discover more about the early history of the Midlands and how that history was uncovered, recorded and told by prominent local geologists and scientists. The exhibition explores what impact these discoveries had on the region, culturally and industrially and what these investigations can tell us about our world today.

Stones & Bones is an exciting collaboration between Library of Birmingham and the Lapworth Museum of Geology at the University of Birmingham.

Presented by The Lapworth Museum of Geology in partnership with Library of Birmingham

Art and Anatomy Online

Throughout history, the understanding of anatomy has been furthered through art thanks to artists including Leonardo da Vinci, Andreas Vesalius, Jan Steven van Calcar and Frank Netter amongst others.

This exhibition showcases the creative talents of students in the Institute of Clinical Sciences, who have been invited to interpret this year’s festival theme – Stop Start! – from an anatomical perspective.

Please note: due to unforeseen circumstances this exhibition will not be on display on the campus screen as stated in the festival brochure.

The full exhibition can be viewed online, and the original works will be available to view in the Medical School on Thursday 15th March, 11.00-14.00.

Presented by the Institute of Clinical Sciences.


Robots, it turns out, are always the answer. Even when the question is: how can we tackle the threat of antibiotic resistance?

Head to the Thinktank Birmingham’s award-winning science museum, to play MICROBOTS, a brand new gaming exhibit taking up long-term residence in the museum’s Futures Gallery.

MICROBOTS brings together contemporary research in mathematics robotics, fluid dynamics, targeted drug therapy and anti-microbial resistance.

MICROBOTS has been designed and created by Dr Thomas Montenegro-Johnson, Dr Sara Jabbari, Dr Meurig Gallagher & Dr Gemma Cupples, researchers in the University of Birmingham’s School of Mathematics as part of a new partnership between University of Birmingham and Birmingham Museums Trust.

Presented by University of Birmingham in partnership with Birmingham Museums Trust.




Skin Atlases: Mapping Diseases of the Skin

Skin atlases are among the most visually compelling medical publications. They date from the emergence of nineteenth-century specialist skin hospitals in Europe. This exhibition curated by Professor Jonathan Reinarz, Director of the History of Medicine Unit, of ground breaking texts by pioneering physicians in the field of dermatology, from the Cadbury Research Library, traces the development of this medical speciality over the nineteenth century. Featuring images from works by Robert Willan, Jean-Louis Alibert, Thomas Bateman, Pierre Rayer and Henry Radcliffe Crocker, among others.

Presented by Cadbury Research Library in partnership with the History of Medicine Unit

Poetics of (Outer) Space

Poetics of (Outer) Space (2015) is a multi-channel sound installation by Caroline Devine that explores the natural acoustic resonances of stars and the orbits of newly discovered exoplanets. Sonified data from the NASA Kepler Mission is presented as an evolving composition. Sited in Birmingham’s historic landmark tower, Perrott’s Folly, the work was developed throughout 2014 during Devine’s Leverhulme Artist Residency with the Solar and Stellar Physics Group in the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Birmingham.

Devine has collaborated with Professor Bill Chaplin and the group since 2012 and has incorporated helioseismological data into a number of sound works including Space Ham for BBC Radio 3, Oscillate for SOUNDWORKS, ICA and 5 Minute Oscillations of the Sun – shortlisted for a BASCA British Composer Award in 2013.

Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.
Presented by Caroline Devine in partnership with the Leverhulme Trust, University of Birmingham, and Ikon Gallery

Imaging Imagining

Join students from Liberal Arts and Natural Sciences for an exploration of the festival theme ‘Stop Start!’.

Images, video stills, drawings and paintings engage with a variety of perspectives and offer an open invitation to stop looking and start seeing.

Students of the Liberal Arts and Natural Sciences are well accustomed to offering alternative views and discovering new angles and we hope that you will stop for a moment to engage and enjoy the propositions offered. Before starting again…

Presented by Dr. Emil Toescu and students from Liberal Arts and Natural Sciences

The Mughals: Power and Beauty at the Indian Court

Courtly life, power and culture in the Indian subcontinent under Mughal rule (1526–1858) are explored in this fascinating display of drawings and prints, coins and manuscripts.

Objects lent by the University’s Cadbury Research Library (CRL) and the private Hussain-Islimi Arts Collection – alongside rarely-exhibited works from the Barber’s own collection – reveal how patrons and artists developed a distinctive Mughal style that reflected their power and ideals of beauty.

The display is curated by Neelam Hussain, Curator of the Mingana Collection of Middle Eastern Manuscripts at the CRL.

Presented by The Barber Institute of Fine Arts in partnership with Cadbury Research Library.

Empires of Emptiness and Sahara & The Steppe

How do empires expand into deserts? Despite their apparently limited value and significant logistical difficulties, the conquest of desert has often mobilised sizeable resources from some of the world’s most notable empires.

Presenting the results of the Birmingham-led research project Outposts of Conquest, this exhibition displays the history and present-day state of one of the most symbolically charged expressions of imperial control in desert environments: the Russian fortifications in the Central Asian steppe and the vast network of French forts built in an attempt to control the Sahara desert. The comparison shows how these two Christian colonial powers sought to control Muslim and predominantly nomad populations.

The indoor exhibition is complemented by an outdoor gallery, Sahara & the Steppe, which contextualises the geographical and human environment where these fortresses were built. The vanity of these imperial fortresses, guarding these vast spaces of wind, sand and stars, appears even more clearly, and the stories behind these sentinels of the void, even more mysterious.
Presented by Department of Modern Languages in partnership with Research and Cultural Collections.

What is it to be human?

An exhibition of short answers will be on display throughout Arts & Science Festival week as part of a student presentation competition in which participants were asked to deliver a presentation in answer to the question What is it to be human?

Presented by School of Philosophy, Theology & Religion in association with GRAB (Great Read at Birmingham)

The Sketchbook and the Collider

Exploring connections between the world of the artist and the particle physicist, this exhibition features new work by Ian Andrews, Artist in Residence at Research and Cultural Collections. Andrews compares the sketchbook and the collider as places where different elements are brought together in active processes. Both artist and physicist ask: can we  better understand the world around us by examining the visible traces of hidden interactions?

Presented by Research & Cultural Collections in partnership with Ian Andrews and the School of Physics and Astronomy.

POSTPONED :: Yhonnie Scarce



Yhonnie Scarce was born in Woomera, South Australia, and belongs to the Kokatha and Nukunu peoples. Working with glass, Scarce explores the political nature and aesthetic qualities of the
material – in particular corresponding to the crystallisation of desert sand as a result of British nuclear tests on her homeland during 1956–63. For Ikon, Scarce undertakes a 5 week residency before presenting a new work in the Tower Room.*

*Please note the Tower Room is only accessible via a number of steps.

Presented by Ikon and TarraWarra Museum of Art with consultant curator Hetti Perkins. The exhibition is supported by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.

Permission Taken

This exhibition displays work by Antonio Roberts created during his 2014–15 artist residency at the University of Birmingham. Roberts focused on issues surrounding copyright, permission culture and art; issues which become ever more pertinent as online communities become more prolific and harder to police.

Whilst his practice focuses on digitally reusing and remixing archive material, Roberts will also use his work to encourage audiences to engage in a dialogue over these issues. Copy Bomb sculptures positioned across campus will allow users to participate in an ‘exquisite corpse’ game where data and images are remixed, raising questions over issues of ownership and intellectual property.

Presented by Research and Cultural Collections

Images of Research

A picture is often said to say a thousand words, but can it sum up an entire research project? The University Graduate School’s Images of Research event challenges the University’s postgraduate researchers to do just that – encapsulate their research in just one image.

Everyone is welcome to come along, enjoy the images and speak to our researchers. There is also a public vote for the most engaging image, and refreshments are provided.

Presented by University Graduate School