Today i was walking past the new Birmingham Library/REP theatre space, that has been in development for the past two years. This huge towering block of geometric patterns that stands behind construction hoardings, i can’t help but dream about what took place in January 21st 2010, the performance of Writing On the Wall. An audience of hundreds stood in the same spot where the new building stands, where live graffiti-art, performance poetry, projected visuals and soundscapes filled the workshop space of the REP. I was given an amazing opportunity to take over the workshop, months before it was demolished to make way for this current structure. Now you have all heard me get excited over Writing On the Wall – so i wont go off on one again. Instead i wanted to share some thoughts on where i’m going with Writing On the Wall Part 2.
Since the event in January 2010, where giant video and light projections met spraypainted walls, there has been a number of outdoor projection events that i have attended only minutes away fron this spot. One is, Wings of Desire, featuring the DJ and artist Goldie, in an outdoor performance of acrobatics, dance and computer graphics projected onto the side of Birmingham Town Hall. The second, is Sampad’s Mandala 2012, where live performance was combined with projected visuals – again on the city’s town hall, both of which were outdoor events. Both events were impressive, and to the annoyance of friends that were with me – i was commenting on every detail, in how it compared to our event 2 years ago! Both were different as they were outdoor events, which comes with many challenges.
Below an image of Sampad’s Mandala performance on the side of the Town Hall.
It took 4 years to put together the first Writing On the Wall, and it’s been 2 years since it was delivered. I always intended on there being a part two, and while It’s been shaping up in my head, i have been working and engaging with different types of artists, collecting the right team, and exploring different ideas, ready for the next big one. I’m not sure exactly where and when Writing On the Wall 2 wil take place yet, but the concept is cooking away, so wont speak too much more on that. One thing i promise is this: Not only will the show have to be beautiful in terms of its aesthetics – of course that’s crucial. But for me, it wont be complete if it doesn’t make the audience go away feeling something deep down, maybe change their perspective on things. Beauty yes, but more importantly – meaning. Writing On the Wall was for me, an epic project. Part two has to blow the audience away on a much bigger level.
It was refreshing to see today just on my strolls through Birmingham City Centre, the construction hoardings of the building site has a mention of Writing On the Wall, with a small picture, see below…. this is what inspired me to write up this post.
The hoardings with a timeline of activity at the REP leading up to the demolition of its workshop after Writing On the Wall