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Friction Arts

Friction Arts

Image above is the ‘Quiet Carnival’ project - photographed by James Gilles.

Friction Arts have been making context-responsive arts and heritage projects for 30 years. These have included: Echoes From the Edge - a four-year, oral history-inspired project leading to a highly interactive, audience-led exhibition over nine rooms, recreating the experiences of people from the post-industrial area of Digbeth in Birmingham. 

Everything Must Go – a three-year residency at the now-demolished Wholesale Markets in central Birmingham, with AR photographic exhibitions at the Library of Birmingham and a large-scale site-specific performance/exhibition on the 35-acre site just prior to demolition. 

Yesterday’s Dreams, an oral history project with young people interviewing their elders and responding with artworks and performances leading to a large-scale exhibition at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, viewed by over 70,000 people. YD won the ‘Outstanding project’ Young Roots, HLF 2017.  

We continue to listen to people’s stories and respond with artworks, exhibitions and performances that are relevant, meaningful and inclusive of the widest range of communities and communities of interest. For our current project, ‘How Were You?’, we are interviewing people about their pandemic experiences while we draw caricature portraits of them onto which their words are added, to document this important time. We were shortlisted (final 10) by the Gulbenkian Foundation for the first UK Civic Arts Awards 2021 for our Pandemic work.