Stuart Whipps: Why Contribute to the Spread of Ugliness?

£15.00

Stuart Whipps: Why Contribute to the Spread of Ugliness?

This catalogue accompanies Why Contribute to the Spread of Ugliness? Ikon’s 2011 exhibition of work by Stuart Whipps.

Ikon presents an exhibition of new works by Birmingham-based artist Stuart Whipps, a selection of photography and video reflecting on the changing nature of cultural value.

A new two channel video installation, England and the Octopus, Britain and the Beast (2011), focuses on the town of Blaenau Ffestiniog in North Wales, a former quarry town at the geographical centre of Snowdonia National Park. When the Park’s borders were created in 1951 the grey slate waste tips that surround Blaenau Ffestiniog prevented its inclusion, a decision made in part by the eccentric architect of Portmeirion, Clough Williams-Ellis. Whipps shows new film footage of the town teamed with a Welsh-language script sourced from texts written or edited by Williams-Ellis.

The major work of this exhibition, Why Contribute to the Spread of Ugliness? (2011), centres on 487 boxes of archived paperwork from the architectural practices of John Madin, currently stored in Birmingham Central Library. A multi-screen slide projection combines three strands of subject matter: the archival boxes, their contents (printed materials relating to Madin’s projects and the construction industry between the 1950s and 1970s) and the buildings to which they refer.

John Madin, active in Birmingham for over 30 years, designed many buildings that defined Birmingham as a modernist city. Several have since been pulled down or are under threat of demolition. Birmingham Central Library, the largest civic library in Europe and considered by some to be a landmark of post-war functionalist architecture in Britain, is due to be demolished in 2013. Whipps focuses on archival material relating to Madin’s work on the library, the former Birmingham Post and Mail printworks and the Queen’s Square shopping centre in West Bromwich, amongst others.

Includes an essay by Birmingham novelist Catherine O’ Flynn.

£15.00

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