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About

General Public is the collaborative platform of artists Elizabeth Rowe and Chris Poolman. Broadly speaking, they devise large scale public art projects that incorporate elements of fiction, myth-making, local history re-invention and heritage rebooting.  Often this process involves re-working or inverting an established model or institutional structure. Their approach is interdisciplinary and collaborative: they produce artworks (writing, film, print), devise collaborative frameworks, organise events, curate / commission other artists.

Previous projects have included a re-interpretation of the biennale concept in inner-city Birmingham (Balsall Heath Biennale 2011 2013), a science fiction themed light festival exploring the politics of regeneration (Longbridge Light Festival, 2014), a community competition resulting in 4000 new coins for an inner city area of Birmingham (Handsworth Currency Competition 2014 -15) and an 18-month strategic touring exhibition that uses the migratory movements of hop-pickers as the conceptual basis for a tour (The Hop Project 2016-17). In 2017/18, they conceived & produced The Endless Village, an apocalyptic sitcom that investigates life in an imagined post-Brexit Britain of the future. This was presented as exhibitions at Eastside Projects and Aspex Portsmouth. Over the 2018 summer holidays they delivered the ‘Heathland Festival, a ‘children’s festival of ideas’ that occurred at Birmingham Community libraries. During 2019/20, they were artists in residence at the University of Birmingham where they developed ‘The Pomology Project’ (a reimagining of British orchard traditions in an urban context). Their current project Let Us Play explores the history of the Adventure Playground movement in Birmingham. The oral histories and archive material generated through the project will be presented in 2021 as part of a series of exhibitions, events and a publication.

News: February 2021

Creative Takeaway


Partnering with  ‘Incredible Surplus‘ Birmingham to test out a series of ‘creative takeaway’ boxes that are available from their 3 food collection points in the city. Framed by the theme of ‘food’ we are working with commissioned artists to design sets of materials, tools and instructions that respond to seasonal cycles in nature.
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Acocks Green: Commonwealth Games Feasibility Study

Supported by the city council, we are undertaking a ‘feasibility’ study in Acocks Green between November 2020 & April 2021 to develop a proposal that might feature as part of the Commonwealth Games 2022 arts programme. This is provisionally entitled ‘The Acocks Green Games’.
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The Allotment Project

ACE are funding the development of a new project called ‘The Allotment Project’ that explores relationships between culture, food, community & ritual in urban environments. It takes as its starting point the history & current context of allotments in Birmingham.
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Seven Street’s Pocket Park – Second stage of a commission by The Active Well-Being Society to continue developing the physical/social fabric of a park in Balsall Heath. Phase 2 involves an unusual ‘Balsall Heath Fairy Doors’ trail as public artwork.
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Pomology Project – Online ExhibitionAn online exhibition of The Pomology Project is now online (unfortunately we had to suspend the two planned exhibitions). Including new films of the Wassail, Apple Day & Urban Mummers Plays.

Contact

generalpublicprojects@gmail.com
07769530557 / 07792736125
generalpublic.org.uk
thehopproject.co.uk