barber institute of fine arts
university of birmingham

Barber Home

The Barber team shares ideas with you to explore in your own home.

These reflections have all been generated in response to our collection and our galleries as part of our programme, Barber Home.

This programme enables the Barber to remain ‘open’ as a place for people to engage with creativity and learning and is also an exciting opportunity for us to work collaboratively with artists and partners during a time of physical closure.

Follow the links below to find our Barber Home artist responses!



19. Welcome Week 2020 (18+)

We’re looking forward to welcoming new and returning students to the University of Birmingham – no matter what your course is. Full details and booking information.

Tuesday 22 September, 2 until 3.30pm; free via Zoom:

Thursday 24 September, 2 until 3.30pm; free via Zoom:



18. Mengxia Liu – Illustrated Zoom Background

Mengxia Liu, a Birmingham-based artist, has created a vibrant illustration that captures the life and energy of the Barber and its beautiful original 1930s Art Deco foyer.



17. Family Activity – Still Life Drawing with Benny Semp 

Inspired by Renaissance paintings in our collection, learn about still life paintings and the hidden significance of the objects found within them…



16. Overhear with Jacqui Rowe

Discover Jacqui Rowe’s original poetry inspired by familiar works in the collection.



15. Live Zoom Event – Jon Sleigh – the Queer Gaze: Emotion and Erasure

What is queer historical erasure?

Arts Educator Jon Sleigh reveals powerful queer coded messages, alongside sitters’ known histories, in this emotive journey through two of our 18th-century portraits.



14. Women in Hospitality Birmingham

Inspired by Hendrik Goudt’s beautiful etching ‘The Mocking of Ceres’ (1610), Chloë Qureshi, founder of Women in Hospitality Birmingham, has written a series of delicious, mouth-watering recipes for you to try.



13. The Barber Collective: digital showcase

From colonialism and reclaiming histories, to manifesto-writing and world building: our collective of 16 – 21 year olds has worked with artists Navi Kaur and Hipkiss & Graney to explore these far-reaching subjects.



12. Family Activity – Create a Camera Obscura with Jo Gane

Interested in how you turn a whole room into a camera obscura?

Delve into our online ‘Sights of Wonder’ exhibition by learning more about the Victorian photography of Francis Bedford.



11. Family Activity – Degas Dancers with Becca Randall 

Explore movement and learn about ballet poses inspired by artist Edgar Degas. Contemporary dancer Becca Randall has produced three video workshops inspired by the Barber’s bronze ballerina sculptures.



10. Live Zoom Event – LYNNEBEC Embrace the Strange – Movement Workshop

Barber Home and LYNNEBEC collaborated for a surreal Dada-esque movement workshop inspired by Jean (Hans) Arp’s ‘Man Seen by a Flower’ (1958).



9. Family Activity – Zine-making with Sarah Taylor Silverwood

We’re thinking about families… and families come in all shapes and sizes!



8. Live Zoom Event – Photography Workshop with Kate Green

Inspired by our online exhibition ‘Sights of Wonder, Birmingham photographer Kate Green hosted a relaxed and informal photography workshop via Zoom.



7. Family Activity – St Ives Scrap Sculptures with Benny Semp

Become a St Ives sculptor with artist Benny Semp – learn about the techniques used by Barbara Hepworth and Naum Gabo.



6. Live Event – Queer watch party with CineQ 

Responding to the Barber’s ‘Reclining Nymph’, Barber Home and CineQ collaborated for an evening celebrating queerness from our own homes. CineQ showcase the best in local and international queer film, with a focus on stories for and by QTIPOC, (adult themes).



5. Family Activity – Creepy Crawlies Q&A with entomologist Liam Crowley 

Ever wanted to know more about bugs?

Inspired by the amazing specimens in our 394-year-old print by Wenceslaus Hollar, we asked entomologist Liam Crowley to answer all your questions about our creepy crawly friends in a live Q&A session.



4. Wendy Tournay – response to ‘Gold Teapot with Stand’

Filmed in lockdown, ceramicist Wendy Tournay responds to the Barber’s decorative Gold Teapot with Stand, made in 1785.



3. Laura Onions – response to Daubigny’s etching, ‘Interior of an Inn’

Artist Laura Onions shares a series of drawings, produced in lockdown, responding to Charles-François Daubigny’s 1861 etching, ‘Interior of an Inn’.



2. Family Activity – Concertina Creepy Crawlies with Ruth Turnbull

Artist Ruth Turnbull joins Barber Home to investigate creepy crawlies.



1. Infinite Opera

Infinite Opera reflect on their performance, composition and research following Nocturnes: Ethereal Science / Constructing Beauty, in our Cornwall as Crucible exhibition.

Welcome Week

Join us for two artist-led workshops during Welcome Week 2020.

Learn more

Mengxia Liu – Illustrated Zoom Background

An illustration that captures the life and energy of the Barber's beautiful original 1930s Art Deco foyer.

Learn more

Still Life – Benny Semp

Learn about the hidden significance of the objects found within still lifes - then make your own!

Learn more

Overhear with Jacqui Rowe

Read and listen to original poems inspired by our collection

Learn more