Changing Contexts – Collage with Andrew Gillespie

Join Andrew Gillespie, one of our shortlisted Arts & Science Sculpture Commission artists, and create your own work of art!

Andrew leads this practical collage workshop, reimagining images and objects from the university’s collections as public artworks.

The workshop will involve changing the size, context and purpose of images, transforming them into proposals for public sculptures.

Arts History Speed Workshop

Expand your knowledge of art through five key paintings, selected in response to the festival theme of Life and Death. A bit like speed dating, you’ll spend a few minutes up close and personal with each picture, with some of UoB’s very own art historians helping you get to grips with what it’s all about, in this enjoyable and compelling roving art discussion organised in association with the Barber Association student club.

Presented by Department of Art History, Film and Visual Studies

In the Chemists’ Kitchen

To many people, ‘chemistry’ conjures stereotypes of a wild-haired, lab coat-wearing, mad scientist, or perhaps evokes memories of a stern teacher and baffling calculations. The truth is probably somewhere between the two, and we’re inviting you to find out what some of our researchers in the Centre for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Research actually do.

In this hands-on workshop, keen cook and PhD student James Walker invites participants to explore the parallels between his mum’s hallowed soup recipe and his research developing nanoparticle catalysts for hydrogen fuel cells.

You are cordially invited to this three-course lab-based demonstration and workshop, which includes ‘molecular mixology’ and opportunity for informal discussion over digestifs.

Please note, participants will be working with chemicals to explore the parallels between cooking and chemistry. Please bear this in mind when planning for your appetite!

James is a doctoral researcher in the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences

Feral Sculpture Making

Join Juneau Projects, who have been shortlisted for our Arts & Science Sculpture Commission, and create your own work of art!

Use your ingenuity and foraging skills to craft a sculpture from the natural materials you find about the campus and then display it in the Rotunda Gallery.

Artist duo Juneau Projects will get you started, providing you with hints and tips about crafting your own art work from mud, stones, leaves and other overlooked items.

Under The Night Stars

Join poets Nadia Kingsley and Emma Purshouse as they lead you through a series of writing activities designed to get your mind wandering and your pen moving. All ages welcome. This is an outdoor activity so wrap up warm. It will not matter if it is cloudy, raining or the light pollution is severe. These will all be adapted to, within the workshop. Bring pen and paper – and binoculars, if you have them. The University’s Astronomical Society will also be on hand with telescopes and tips for effective star gazing.

Presented by Cultural Engagement in partnership with Nadia Kingsley and Emma Purshouse

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.

This event will be repeated 13th March at 5.00pm.

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

Yoga in the Gallery

Join Research and Cultural Collections and UB Sport & Fitness for an hour of relaxation and mindfulness (and some contemporary art!).

Our encouraging instructor will guide you through flowing movements and traditional yoga poses in the beautiful surroundings of the Rotunda Gallery.
The class is suitable for all levels and yoga mats/ equipment will be provided. *The class will start promptly at 17:30, so please ensure that you arrive 5 minutes before.

Presented by UB Sport & Fitness and Research and Cultural Collections

Making Sense of it all

Our sense of vision is designed to allow us to access a wealth of information – from the text on this page to the stars in the sky. It has significance in informing us about daily events allowing us to make links with previous visual experiences and as such it is often referred to as an integrating sense – or a sense that helps us make sense of it all!

What though of people who have reduced information through their sense of vision – how might they draw on their other senses to help them ‘make sense of it all?’  In this highly interactive workshop we will explore the role of vision in our learning and development and consider how other senses provide us with information about the world when our vision is impaired.

This includes opportunities for participants to: explore the role of our senses in providing information about the world in the absence of consistent visual information; examine recent technologies that have been designed to reduce barriers to learning and participation for people with visual impairment (including an opportunity to use Google Glass); find out about strategies that can be drawn upon to promote inclusive practice.

Presented by the School of Education and the School of Computer Science

Make Your Own Particle!


Join Professor Cristina Lazzeroni and Dr Maria Pavlidou for a hands-on workshop for young children and their parents.*

Learn about the research by particle physicists at CERN and hear about the varying personalities and behaviours of different particles.

Participants* can also design and make their own subatomic particle using an array of decorations and their imaginations!

*This session is for children aged 8 years and over 

Presented by School of Physics and Astronomy.

Calligraphy Workshop

A practical calligraphy workshop presented in association with the Pen Museum. Join experts and hone your calligraphy skills or learn the basics from scratch.

Presented by Winterbourne House & Garden in association with the Pen Museum

Light Painting

Join photographic artist Jo Gane and light up the Green Heart!

Using digital cameras and slow exposure times, workshop participants will create explosive images using coloured torches and lights to draw in the night sky.

The workshop will be divided into 10 minute slots, each open to groups of 1-4 people per slot.

Presented by Jo Gane in partnership with Arts & Science Festival

The Cake Orchestra

The cake orchestra is a cake-technology-music interface for people without much musical ability but with an interest in technology and cakes. It’s made up of several sets of cakes and sensors, each associated with a different instrument noise. Moving the cakes around on the playing surface triggers the instruments. Guaranteed to be more edible than a real orchestra!

Presented by the School of Computer Science

Keep Moving: Drawing and Writing Workshop

Explore movement and action in the Barber galleries through both drawing and writing in this cross-disciplinary workshop.

Visual artist Tom Jones and writer Jacquie Rowe will work help you to create your own original piece, combining images and text.

Open to writers and artists of all levels of experience and ability. Tea, coffee and biscuits included!

Presented by The Barber Institute of Fine Arts.

Visualising Sound: Art & Music

Explore sound and instrumental technique with leading professional musicians Jack McNeill and Ulrich Heinen, discovering the collection through improvisation. Working with a visual artist, create your own music through drawing, creating graphic interpretations of paintings that will, in turn, be used by the musicians to create a unique and original sound tour.

The workshop offers the chance to explore familiar Barber paintings in a new way and create a truly original experience. Open to adults only.

The workshop will be led by composer & educator Jeremy Clay:

Presented by the Barber Institute of Fine Arts


Vivid Projects’ Black Hole Club is a lively, daring space for creative people – artists, designers, curators and writers and more – in the West Midlands to share and test ideas.

Join David Checkley, Sarah Walden (Birmingham City University) and Coral Manton (Plymouth University, i-DAT), members of Black Hole Club’s 2017 cohort, for this interactive workshop examining the form and function of cognitive interruption as experienced by neurodivergent individuals (e.g. people with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Synaesthesia, Dyspraxia, Dyslexia and ADHD).

Bringing together sculpture, immersive video and virtual reality with somatic exercises and brainwave monitoring, the workshop will encourage participants to consider the generative and creative aspects of cognitive interruption and neurological difference.

Presented by members of Vivid Projects Black Hole Club 2017.

Teach Rex at The Lapworth

Get ready for a dino–mite day with Teach Rex!

Join Jam the dinosaur as he roams through the Lapworth and learn R-awesome facts in their fun-filled shows.

There’ll be dinosaur themed stories, treasure hunts and craft activities.

Presented by the Lapworth Museum of Geology

Bioprospecting Birmingham

Bacteria and microbes are all around us, on us and within us: they are often the source for new technologies and medicines. Using ingredients sourced from local shops and prepared with items regularly found in the kitchen, Dr Mel Grant, Lecturer in Biological Sciences in the School of Dentistry and BOM fellow, will use ‘DIY Bio’ methods to grow environmental bacteria, letting the microbes illustrate the sights of Birmingham. The week long workshop will be held in the gallery space at Birmingham Open Media, a new space for art, technology and science.

Presented by Birmingham Open Media in partnership with University of Birmingham