Minervala Market – a post-apocalyptic look at arts communities in the 21st century

Every Saturday evening in August at The Wig in Ladywood, Minervala Market, a post-apocalyptic public market and trading point created by Birmingham-based artists Jonathan Charles Graney and Dale Hipkiss will take place.


Minervala Market is a large scale installation, with the theme being that artists and traders will gather in the artists’controlled space of The Wig after a post-apocalyptic fall-out, and will trade materials and discuss different ways of using artistic space. Stalls can be booked with the organisers for artists to trade material with each other. No money is to be involved – there will be a few things for sale, but it is hoped that free trade and sharing will be at the forefront of the event.
Each week will include talks by artists who use nomadic bases as part of their regular practice. One of the featured artists giving their talks will be Make/Shift/Space, devised by Hickey+Warner, on the 13th of August. Make/Shift/Space curate transient events in public locations and public realm residencies, taking away the notion of the insular, self-regarding artist collective.

There will also be parties with music. Entertainment on the opening night will be a special playback of the Minervala Market soundtrack by sound recordist Rowan Piacestelli. The second event will feature sound immersion from Ben Peers, and third will be a tribal trance evening DJ’d by Michael Lightbourne. The parties are designed to give respite from the ground zero of Birmingham’s city centre to the traders, artists and members of public who gather at The Wig on those Saturdays.


Both alumni from the Birmingham School of Art, Jonathan Charles Graney and Dale Hipkiss have been working in collaboration for a year. Minervala Market is a follow on from their ‘Caravan’ installation last year. ‘Caravan’ discussed the importance of how art and artists can survive in increasingly hostile environments. Planners and architects were looking at Digbeth and Eastside, an area of Birmingham particularly popular with grassroots collectives,one organisation, Homes for Waifs and Strays, were evicted from their home in Minerva Works last year. ’Caravan’ focussed on dealing with the themes of the encroaching expansion of the city centre, and artistic survival in the face of high rents, government-cut funding for the arts and gentrification.

‘Caravan’ was an innocent, playful piece discussing how artists can keep on living and creating at the same time in increasingly side-lining environments. Like ‘Caravan’, Minervala Market will be based around fictitious realities, taking key influences from the altruistic communities of Europe, particularly to be found in Berlin’s Kreuzberg. Yet from childish and innocent ideas of building new communities and play, there will always be struggles with fear, anger and aggression running alongside. By bringing these ideas to the forefront, Minervala Market is hoping to create new structures and new ways of communicating and sharing in the 21st century in artistic and public spaces.

Minervala Market takes place at The Wig, on every Saturday Night in August: that’s 6th, 13th, 20th and 27th of August between the hours of 7-10.  Rear of 55 Great Tindal Street, Birmingham, B16 8DR
If you’d like to book a stall for that entire duration or just one night then get in touch via:

jonathancharlesgraney@hotmail.co.uk or dalehip@hotmail.co.uk or follow via Twitter @MinervalaMarket



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