Papergirl Birmingham

Author: Andy Hartwell

Better late than never… I’ve been meaning to do a little post on a recent midlands art project – Papergirl Birmingham. Born in Berlin back in 2006 the project aspires to broaden the public consciousness of artists, providing them with a wider, more liberal venue to exhibit their work – bringing art to the streets. Since then the project has spread global and with the super hard work of Kate Grundy, it happened in Birmingham with Brummies taking to their bicycles!

I met Kate late last year and got involved with the project, giving Papergirl Birmingham an identity. Reminiscing in my early 90s childhood I got a bit excited with a Spirograph as a I crazily doodled wheels of a new breed of Pashley cycle. The designs had a nostalgic charm and it really reinforced the idea of bring art to the streets.

Submissions to the project were open from late 2011 and anybody could enter their work, regardless of its medium. The idea was to collect, exhibit and then distribute artwork on mass to an unsuspecting public, on bicycles! Opening the art world up to folk who may not have considered it before.

“Papergirl is a global project that aims to open the art world into the urban streets of everyday life. It is an intervention seeking to surprise people and to heartily upturn the notable predictability of day to day life.”

Throughout April an empty unit in the Mailbox turned into a creative hub thanks to the 48 Sheet project with workshops, events, music and even a bar! Within that space Papergirl Birmingham was supported, with a platform to showcase all the works, in preparation for the distribution. The launch on the 24th April welcomed all us creative folk to indulge in free tea, cake and activities (including a ‘doodle desk, OHP fondling and Spirograph mastering’), bicycles were welcomed also. Twas a super fun evening, I really do love stuff like this in Brum as it’s a great opportunity to meet likeminded illustrators and it was really interesting to see the variety of submissions too, including a few Substrakt’rs!

Saturday 28th April was distribution day, I couldn’t make it down for the ride but Ryan was there on his single speed, despite the typical British grey skies! Great project, even if I am a little biased. Nice one Birmingham.