Archive | July, 2010

Retooled Goes Live

30 Jul

Retooled website

Since our initial post about Retooled (ex-Rover workers working on a project to build a website for those facing or experiencing redundancy) the website has had a revamp.

The full Retooled site is now live and provides a collection of real life experiences, mostly in the form of video interviews with ex-Rover employees.  Users of the site can also contribute by adding their comments.

The process of building the site has been comprehensively blogged, and you’ll find many more memories and resources specific to MG Rover within it.

Congratulations to all involved with the project for achieving such great results in a short space of time!


Longbridge village green could be saved

23 Jul

Residents hold out hope that the ‘village green’ in Austin Rise, Longbridge could still be saved from developers.

Full story from the Birmingham Mail: Longbridge village green could be saved

Retooled: Launching soon!

23 Jul

Just a note to say that, if you try accessing any of the links in the two posts about the Retooled Longbridge project, you may find they’re not working at the mo!

This is, in fact, good news though, as it means that Antonio Gould is putting the final touches to the site before it’s proper launch this Sunday!

Looking forward to seeing how it’s developing!

Out Yer Tree

23 Jul

Brolly Folly by Taz Lovejoy, Lickey Hills Country Park 2010 | Image by Sas Taylor 2010

Out with the family on a sunny May Sunday, at Lickey Hills Country Park, we spotted three people and a ladder,  sticking brollies in a tree.

Curious, we wandered over to discover the installation was part of an outdoor exhibit of art works by Out Yer Tree which was to run in the park throughout June.

Out Yer Tree was established by four artists in 2008 and is now run entirely by two of its founder members, Taz Lovejoy & Mark Biddulph of Rednal, Birmingham. The project enables emerging artists to get their work out into the open air, mainly into country parks, where the public may be surprised to spot them during a sunny Sunday stroll! To open exhibitions, members of the public are invited on a walk where they can discuss the art works with their creators.

I asked Taz what it’s like being an artist living in Rednal.

We recently moved to Rednal after living in Smethwick for a year or so, the area is fantastic for me and my practice as I need to be near the great outdoors for inspiration and the Lickey Hills are just perfect for that. Me and my partner, Mark Biddulph (another artist and partner in OYT) would have never contemplated moving if it wasn’t for the first time Out Yer Tree exhibited at the Lickey Hills. It was such a fantastic environment and the area seemed so receptive to the arts that it wasn’t long until we were packing up our stuff and moving. The move also worked out well for me working at Newman as the distance wasn’t any further but much quicker roads.

Deciduous Colorificus - Taz Lovejoy, 2009

What do you do at Newman University College?

I am employed at Newman as  ‘Graduate Assistant in Creative Arts’, I provide technical support to art, media, music and drama and also an aspect of my job is my independent research. Newman fund me to attend my MA at Coventry and although originally I intended to take a typical Fine Art MA, I later decided to push myself in a slightly different direction. I am not sure now on reflection this was the best step, as the course appears to be very digitally/ film focused although it wasn’t stated as this when Iapplied. They do support me to continue working with my outdoor sculpture, but it has been a bit of a struggle to convince my tutors that this was were my practice and focus lay.

Who else runs outyertree with you and are they from the area?

OYT is run by myself and my partner Mark Biddulph originally we had 4 members which included another couple from our home town, Kettering but they  moved to Wales in the summer of 2009 and wanted to settle for a quiter more relaxed life. So now OYT is entirely based in our home in Rednal although we exhibit countrywide.

What inspires you and what would you like to pursue in the future?

Within my practice I am inspired by many things but most importantly the natural environment. When I discuss this with people, many point out that none of my artworks are really environmentally friendly and I often use materials such as plastics. This is a real conflict for me as although I appreciate the environment and wish to do my part in saving it, within my artwork I thrive on using brightly coloured objects, which you don’t get with natural materials. I do try to use recycled materials which can be seen in my most recently shown sculptures at Lickey Hills called ‘Hybrid Infusions’, within which I have used old unwanted plant pots from a local garden centre and the same can be said for my umbrella artworks.

Hybrid Infusions, Taz Lovejoy 2010

I am currently working on some sculptures to be exhibited in connection to The Herbert Gallery in Coventry and an OYT exhibition in Coombe Abbey Country Park, Coventry (28th August to 17th September 2010 with a free walk and talk event on Saturday 28th of August at 2pm). Beyond this my real ambition is to continue to showcase my work in alternative venues across the country.

We hope to see more from Taz in the coming years, and look forward to the prospect of an Out Yer Tree exhibition in Lickey Hills Country Park in 2011!


External Links:

Taz Lovejoy – Artist

Out Yer Tree – Outdoor Art Organisation

Out Yer Tree Exhibition, Lickey Hills 2010

Show us your B31!

21 Jul

We’ve set up a Flickr group for B31 for sharing images of the B31 area! We’d love to see all your photos, be they arty, professional looking, vintage or snaps taken on a cameraphone.

If you have any photos you want to share, please join and add as many as you like to the group. If you don’t already have a Flickr account, you can sign up for free.

The ten most recent images added to the group will always show at the bottom right hand side of the blog. *that’s it – look down there – yep, thataway! —>

We look forward to viewing your images!

Retooled: Beginning Building Stories

12 Jul
Rover plant 2007 via

Rover plant 2007 via

A couple of days ago, I posted about the Retooled Longbridge project. As part of the Retooled project, Nicky Getgood & John Barnett have collected some content from the web regarding the Rover closure. Nicky’s post on the Retooled blog includes a recorded interview with John along with other goodies.

John also pointed Nicky in the direction of some fantastic images of the derelict plant and it’s underground tunnels taken in 2007, from urban exploration website 28 Days Later. Do click through to view more, well worth the time!

This is really going to be a fascinating project!

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