I love finding out about interesting projects that reinterpret and bring archives to light in imaginative ways. One local project that I am enjoying following is the work of Sarah Moss the artist in residence at Winterbourne House and Gardens.
Sarah is currently working on a series of linocuts depicting moments from the life of the Nettlefold family who built Winterbourne and lived there in the early twentieth century. John Sutton Nettlefold was a member of the prominent local manufacturers Nettlefold and Co. (later Guest, Keen and Nettlefold) as well as being the managing director of the ammunition manufacturer Kynoch Ltd for many years. He was also a local councillor concerned with social reform and urban planning; in his role as first chairman of the local housing committee he extended the slum clearance programme and established the Moor Pool Estate in Harborne. John and his wife Margaret (nee Chamberlain) were part of the interconnected group of Unitarian families in Birmingham at the time. The family archive which is housed at Winterbourne is a rich resource for understanding domestic and personal experiences of life in a middle class Edwardian family.
Christmas design from the Tony Fisher collection. © Fisher Estate. [MS 4856 Acc 2016/053]
It’s been another busy year for the Iron Room blog. In 2016 we published 66 articles (this being number 67) and we have already begun planning for 2017! We would like to say thank you so much for your support and contributions – we really couldn’t (and wouldn’t want to) do it without you.
Archives and Collections at the Library of Birmingham has also been busy and amongst the new accessions taken in this year, the highlight, at least for me, has been the Tony Fisher archive (MS 4856).
Educated at the Moseley School of Arts & Crafts, Tony went on to become a print designer, a lecturer at the Bournville School of Art & Design and eventually Senior Graphic Designer at the BBC, Birmingham.
Big Hoot at the Library of Birmingham
Birmingham has been invaded by owls! Artistic owls of course. As part of the Big Hoot, 89 owl sculptures have appeared across the City, decorated with many different wonderful designs, each representing a unique theme.
The owls were created by artists for a project run by Wild in Art to bring local schools, businesses and artists together, and form a trail inspired by Birmingham’s culture and heritage. The owls will be perched in the City until 27th September, at which point they will be auctioned to raise money for Birmingham Children’s Hospital.
As part of Big Hoot’s Little Hoot, school children have been creating their own little owlets (120 in all) and you can discover where the owls have nested by downloading the trail leaflet from the Big Hoot website.
See if you can discover where these owls are at the Library of Birmingham
Despite the Harris Hawk, owls have even taken up residence in the Library of Birmingham. See if you can discover where!