Imprinting Memories

Join letter press artist Becky Howson as she explores the role that printing has played in cultural memory. This short workshop will introduce participants to the historic collections held at Winterbourne and some of the basic processes involved in letterpress printing.
Becky combines academic research with her own practice which draws from various print methodologies. She creates work inspired by collections, curiosities, archives, type, printed ephemera.

Presented by Winterbourne House and Garden

A Midlands Odyssey: Writing Workshop

Join A Midlands Odyssey authors for a special workshop to mark the re-launch of their collection of short stories, transplanting Homeric epic to the contemporary English Midlands. With a range of settings – from smart canal-side apartments to late-night launderettes – these stories are wonderfully inventive and offer a down-to-earth take on one of the world’s greatest pieces of storytelling.

Channel your inner Odysseus in a series of creative writing activities designed to reflect on the practice of storytelling and to explore how existing narratives are forever renewed in their retelling. Participants will be given the opportunity to share and discuss the work that they produce during the course of the workshop in a supportive and informal environment, with prior knowledge of Homer’s Odyssey by no means a prerequisite.


Elisabeth Charis, Yasmin Ali and Charlie Hill are all writers based in the Midlands and, among them, have experience writing for print, performance and radio. The authors will read from their work and discuss the process of writing for commission, as well as exploring the relationship between their new work and its ancient source.

Elisabeth Charis‘ latest work, Eden Reborn, is an eco-feminist reimagining of the Myth of Eden and a response to Ted Hughes’ Theology.

Yasmin Ali has published short stories and radio plays. Her latest commission, Twelve Angry Women, premiered at the Brighten Dome for International Women’s Day 2016.

Charlie Hill is a novelist and short story writer, whose latest work, Stuff, is published by Cinnamon Press and ‘tackles the empitness of Consumerism and the essential meaninglessness of British culture at the beginning of the 21st Century’.

It will then be the turn of participants, who will respond to a series of creative writing challenges – responding to a source text, finding a genre, and creating something new from something old.

Presented by the Department of Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology in partnership with Arts & Science Festival, mac birmingham and B-Film as part of Homer’s Odyssey Today, a series of events at mac birmingham focusing on the Odyssey’s afterlife from a variety of perspectives. A Midlands Odyssey was commissioned by Writing West Midlands

The Sketchbook and The Collider – Meet the Artist

Artist-in-residence, Ian Andrews, and particle physicist, Kostas Nikolopoulos, invite you to view and discuss a series of hand-drawn artists’ books created with water based-ink on tissue paper.

Using the sketchbook format, Andrews attempts to draw reference to events in the quantum world through contrast and collision. Are there visible traces of hidden interactions? Have they changed the way we understand the world around us?

Explore the connections between the world of the artist and the physicist at this drop-in session.

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



Cancelled :: Red-Green-Blue-Animation

The University of Birmingham has been very carefully monitoring the national position in relation to the progress of coronavirus, and has been taking note of advice from the World Health Organisation (WHO), Public Health England (PHE) and other sources, including local partners.

As a result, this event has unfortunately been cancelled.


Join artist duo Juneau Projects for this family friendly workshop exploring red-green-blue animation. Produce drawings inspired by the natural world and then watch them come to life in coloured light!

Death Café

Death Café is a world-wide social franchise which invites people, often strangers, to gather to eat cake, drink tea, and discuss death.

There’ll be no agenda, objectives or themes – simply a group-directed discussion with a view to increasing awareness of death in order to help people make the most of their (finite) lives. The group is convened for discussion rather than grief support or counselling. For more information, visit

Presented by the School of Philosophy, Theology and Religion

Exploring Land and Water with the Geography Map Collection

The Map Collection at the University of Birmingham is one of the finest in the UK.  Established in 1924 with donations from the Cadbury family it has since grown to comprise over 300,000 maps and 600 Atlases.

Join Map Curator Jamie Peart as he shares his unique insights into the collection and gives participants the opportunity to handle items from the archive.  There will also be a chance to explore the key elements of the collection through an interactive touchtable.

Highlights include:

  • Military maps from the North Africa campaign of the 1940s
  • Goad fire insurance maps from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries
  • The finest collection of historic Japanese town plans in western Europe
  • An historic map series charting the development of the West Midlands from the seventeenth century to the present

Presented by School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences.



We are all living longer, but sadly not healthier. As we get older, we are less physically active and the latest research shows that too much sitting can negate the benefits of regular exercise. This interactive session includes talks on why being sedentary is bad for your health, and will offer tips on easy ways to increase your activity.

The event ends with 25 minutes of ‘Chair Based Exercise’ including sitting and standing movements, a practical way to increase flexibility and reduce sedentariness.

This event is presented by University of Birmingham Sport and the MRC-ARUK Centre for Musculoskeletal Ageing Research


Due to the current COVID-19 crisis, this event has been cancelled.




People often say that they would like to take action to tackle global problems such as climate change, poverty and exploitation in supply chains, but that they don’t know
where to start.

Project IndiActs is a website full of very practical, bite-sized (but well-researched) tips and suggestions to make it easier for people to take action and contribute to a better world.

The project team would like to involve a range of voices in setting the agenda for their research and for Arts & Science Festival they will run two sessions to consider the focus and presentation of the project, and to invite practical suggestions from participants.

Presented by the Department of Philosophy.

Exquisite Corpse Workshop

Antonio Roberts leads a workshop inspired by the Exquisite Corpse surrealist storytelling technique. Participants are invited to co-create an artwork re-mixing archive images and other materials.

Following the workshop there’ll be a discussion questioning authorship and ownership of the collaboratively created artworks.

Presented by Antonio Roberts in partnership with Research and Cultural Collections as part of Permission Taken, see page 11 for more details.

Time and Place: Art and Writing Workshop

Visual artist Tom Jones and writer Jacqui Rowe invite you to this cross-disciplinary workshop combining drawing and writing.

Explore landscapes in the Barber galleries and combine images and text to create your own original piece in response.

Open to writers and artists of all levels of experience and ability.

Presented by The Barber Institute of Fine Arts.

You Want Me To Stop Doing What?


Many people feel powerless to do anything about climate change, despite being concerned about it. Reducing emissions is said to be too time consuming, too costly, too difficult, while the changes we could make in our daily lives are too small to make a difference anyway.

Join academics from Birmingham and Newcastle for this lively workshop which considers issues including: How much can we be expected to do about climate change and can we really make a difference to this global problem? When we ask people to reduce their emissions, what sorts of considerations are important? Who can have the biggest impact on the problem? Who should be allowed to emit the most?

The workshop will provide important feedback for a research project which considers the lives of ‘real’ people and the extent of their individual responsibility for climate change. It also offers participants an opportunity to reflect on their own circumstances and their ability to reduce their emissions.

Presented by the Politics Department (Newcastle University) and the Department of Philosophy (University of Birmingham)

Forage Collage

Join artists Juneau Projects for an online scavenger hunt, based upon the sculpture commission proposal they developed for the University of Birmingham last year.

Juneau Projects invite you to join them on Zoom where they will set you a series of tasks to find a series of images based around questions relating to their Green Heart sculpture proposal, an artwork designed to become a living moss structure.

You will then be encouraged by the artists to use your creativity and ingenuity to turn these images into works of art that you can share with the other participants on Zoom in a fun, relaxed discussion.

Why Remember?

Why remember? Why are 100 years significant? How would you remember? These questions were posed as part of a research network and educational campaign linked to the now iconic installation of ceramic poppies at the Tower of London, Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red.

Join Dr Joanne Sayner, Department of Modern Languages, for this participatory workshop in which you will have a chance to reflect on your own answers to these questions, to respond to an animated film about the First World War made by pupils at the Grey Coat Hospital in London, and to discuss your reactions to the installation at the Tower.

Presented by the Department of Modern Languages

This is Who I am: creative writing in response to identity, heritage and place

Dr Joanna Skelt, Teaching Fellow in African Studies and Anthropology and Birmingham Poet Laureate 2013-14, explores the links between place, heritage, identity and culture in this creative writing workshop.

Joanna will share poems from a new writing commission exploring identity before and after taking a DNA test and discuss research on culture and identity using writing with migrant communities.

Participants will then have a go at writing about their own experience of identity and their imagined and real heritage and connections to place.  Everyone welcome including those new to writing!

Presented by Birmingham Research Institute for History and Cultures in partnership with Birmingham Museums Trust as part of ‘History and Culture at Soho House‘, a day of free activities at the Handsworth home of industrialist and entrepreneur, Matthew Boulton.

Girls Can Be Astronauts Too!

Lucy always dreamed of being an astronaut. As a child she spent weekends in her back garden making rocket ships and wondering about what’s ‘up there’. Now she’s all grown up, she invites you to explore what life might be like beyond the clouds. In Lucy’s world, there are no girl- or boy-only jobs: everyone is allowed to dream big and be exactly who they want to be.

In this interactive performance workshop with Hannah Graham, expect Moon-tastic movement, magical play and out-of-this-world music. Come wearing your best space-inspired clothes and comfortable shoes.

*This event is suitable for children ages 5-8 years.

Presented by Hannah Graham in association with Little Earthquake and in partnership with the Lapworth Museum of Geology and Arts & Science Festival.


50 years after the Apollo 11 Moon landing, Little Earthquake is joining forces with Midlands Arts Centre (MAC) and the University of Birmingham to celebrate this special anniversary in spectacular style.

Running 16 – 24 July, MoonFest begins on the same day that Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins launched into space 50 years ago, and concludes on the day they splashed down into the Pacific Ocean at the end of their fantastic voyage.

For nine special days expect a programme bursting with events and activities created with artists, academics and audience members.

For full details of the MoonFest programme, visit

Tall Tales and Unreliable Narrators

Be inspired by the Barber collection and respond to the festival theme of memory and forgetting in this creative writing workshop.

Explore ways in which we can take our own and others’ memories, some of them recorded in works in the collection, and turn them into stories and poems… sometimes with a complete disregard for the truth.

Presented by The Barber Institute of Fine Arts

Harmonograph: Seeing Sound

Sound artist Bobby Bird demonstrates his hand-built Harmonograph, a scientific instrument invented in the Victorian era which uses pendulums to visualise the invisible forces of maths and science. Be involved in creating your own harmonograph image, and see how, from the past to the present, the work of scientists and artists have been linked by curiosity, ingenuity and experimentalism.

Presented by Birmingham Research Institute for History and Cultures in partnership with Birmingham Museums Trust as part of History and Culture at Soho House, a day of free activities at the Handsworth home of the industrialist and entrepreneur Matthew Boulton from 1766 to 1809.


Mega Flora! A Lino Cutting Print Workshop

Work with artists Juneau Projects to generate prints inspired by their Arts & Science Sculpture Commission proposal.

The duo will help you to design an image that draws on the natural world and show you how to translate it into a lino cut print that you can take away with you. No printing experience is necessary and all materials will be provided.

Juneau Projects are one of four finalists selected for the Arts & Science Sculpture Commission.

Digbeth Canal Workshop

Eric Moschopedis and Mia Rushton are award winning interdisciplinary visual artists, facilitators, and community organisers from Calgary, Canada. Throughout the last seven years they have developed a collaborative practice that operates in both a gallery and in more public spaces and arenas.

For Arts & Science Festival, the artists invite you to walk and talk with them along Digbeth’s canal. The walk leaves from Grand Union Gallery, where they will be in residence throughout February and March undertaking intense research about the canals & waterways that are so prominent in Birmingham’s history.

Presented by Grand Union in partnership with Cultural Engagement

What’s What with James Watt

Who was James Watt? Why was he important? Is he still relevant today?

2019 marks the 200th anniversary of the death in Handsworth of James Watt the inventor, industrialist, engineer and artist. This is one of several events over the next few years which explore the man and his legacy.

Using a range of visual media, Dr Kate Croft  and Dr Malcolm Dick from the University of Birmingham’s Centre for West Midlands History, explore the ways in which Watt’s life, work and significance have been represented and provide opportunities for those participating in the event to understand the  man and his times and engage critically with his impact.

Presented by Birmingham Research Institute for History and Cultures in partnership with Birmingham Museums Trust as part of History and Culture at Soho House, a day of free activities at the Handsworth home of the industrialist and entrepreneur Matthew Boulton from 1766 to 1809.