All photography courtesy of Salshan Photography.
The Hubb launch had a slogan, “the hubb is happening”. This came about because many doubted as to whether it could ever become a reality. Could an arts centre really ever open in an area such as Sparkbrook? Could a first floor gallery space, ever bring in people in their droves to witness history, where art truly comes to the people? Could a space that was formerly a social club where people got high, and drunk in its car park, really be transformed into Birminghams No.1 alternative artspace? Well it happened. The launch took place on the evening of April 29th 2010. where people crammed in, shoulder to shoulder and saw history in the making.
I have been quite honoured to have launched the Hubb, with co-founder Abdal-Samad from Feed The Poor. We teamed up after we found a shared passion to bring art into the community. Those who know how i work, I always like to add hype to something, but I can only do that when i believe in the end product. I always knew The Hubb – an alternative, grass-roots arts centre, was needed, and was something people were crying out for. The seven or so years that I had been working as a full-time street-artist, travelling across the UK and around the globe, had given me an insight into the power of the arts, and how it can transform a place and its people. So this was part of my attempt at bringing something back into Sparkbrook, the very community that I was born in, literally streets away from The Hubb. Bringing something back to Birmingham, the city that I was born in, was important to me.
We had special guests photographer Peter Sanders, and scholar Sheikh Jihad Brown over to inspire us with their words and their work. It was an honour to be hosting the opening, while providing a background context to the area, something I had a knowledge of an how it has changed over the last few decades. It excites me that our vision of bringing art to the people, could be realised via The Hubb.
What to expect from the centre? Myself – as a graffiti artist, and co-founder Abdal-Samad – an islamic calligrapher, will permanently have artworks exhibited in a dedicated space. We will also have studio space working from The Hubb, in a windowed area, which is viewable from the main gallery space. I will be pretty much based there most of the time working within the studio, so welcome people to drop by. We are yet to announce our public opening days.
The Hubb will be hosting various exhibitons, performances, and events on a regular basis and will also be available for hire as a venue for the public.
We are currently looking for volunteers to assist with The Hubb. Skills such as marketing/art-centre management a definite bonus.
The website htttp://www.thehubb.org will be fully launched soon
One thing i always aim to do with any event, is bring together people of all background and all colour into one place. This launch event, reminded me of what we achieved with the The REP Theatre event we did earlier this year, The Writing On The Wall. The Hubb is a centre for all, for people to come together.