In ‘Side Southside
An exhibition of new photographs chronicling life in and around Southside is being held at Birmingham Hippodrome.
Birmingham photographer Ross Jukes has spent the last 12 months taking pictures in the area, amassing a collection of more than 2,000 images.
Ross was commissioned by Rockspring Property Investment Managers, owners of The Forum, a development of 333 apartments under construction on the site of the former ice rink in Pershore Street.
The exhibition, called ‘In ‘Side’, was curated by a panel of independent judges including David Oram of Brumpic; Adrian Middleton, manager of Southside BID; James Wong, managing director of Chung Ying Restaurant Group and Tom Cullen, editor of I Choose Birmingham. The panel was chaired by Fiona Allan, artistic director and chief executive of Birmingham Hippodrome.
Thirty three images will be on display, split into four categories: people, places, festivals and street art.
Anita Jerkovic, European director at Rockspring, said:
“When we acquired the former ice rink site in 2016 we looked for images of Southside to use in our marketing materials, but were surprised to find very little existed. We therefore decided to commission our own.
“As investors, we were attracted to Southside and the emerging Smithfield area’s vibrancy.
It is home to the country’s busiest theatre and oldest working cinema. Its thoroughfares are lined with eclectic street art. It is the city’s ‘festival’ quarter, hosting the Chinese New Year celebrations, while the world’s third largest St Patrick’s Parade and Pride spill into the area from neighbouring Digbeth. Birmingham’s LGBT and Chinese communities call Southside home, resulting in a diverse night-time economy.
“The exhibition celebrates the people and places that make up this pulsating district.”
Ross Jukes said:
“My work to date has largely been bigger, broader, landscape shots of the city, but this project forced me to come in close. I walked miles and miles, just following my nose. It was uncommon for me to have any structure, unless there was a specific event happening. I skirted the boundaries and dipped in and out of the Southside area.
“I have been given total creative control and have not been put under any pressure to capture a particular type or style of image. Southside is an area on the cusp of change, with the wholesale markets disappearing and the Smithfield district emerging. The exhibition will show all walks of life and I hope is a true reflection of life in the area.”
Fiona Allan said:
“It has been an honour to chair the In’ Side judging panel and, thanks to my fellow judges, the selection process was insightful and fun.
But it certainly wasn’t easy to make the final decisions due to the depth and quality of Ross Jukes’ work.
“As the theatre embarks on its own, specially curated visual arts programme, I’m delighted that The Forum has chosen Birmingham Hippodrome at the heart of Southside as the venue for In ’Side . I hope as many people as possible will pop in and see the results of this year-long project and discover the personalities, places and festivals of Southside and beyond.”
‘In ‘Side’ will be at Birmingham Hippodrome’s Thorp Street foyer from Friday 27 April – Sunday 6 May, from 10am – 7pm. It is free to enter.