barber institute of fine arts
university of birmingham

Barber Home

Each week the Barber team will be sharing 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 will enable the Barber to remain ‘open’ as a place for people to engage with creativity and learning and it is also an exciting opportunity for us to work collaboratively with artists and partners during a time of physical closure.

Look out for Barber Home coming every Thursday.


6 August – 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.

‘Emotion and Erasure’ is a live talk and Q&A via Zoom on Thursday 6 August, 6 – 7pm.

Please email to book your space and receive joining details.


30 July – 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.


23 July – 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, now brought together into a digital showcase.


16 July – Create a Camera Obscura (family)

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.

Artist and photographer Jo Gane shows us how to create camera obscuras at home!


9 July – Degas Dancers with Becca Randall (family)

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.

We can’t wait to see you get moving!


2 July – 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).

Explore these ideas yourself with our workshop information and resources.


25 June – Zine-making with Sarah Taylor Silverwood

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

Join artist Sarah Taylor Silverwood to make a zine and reflect on your family, whoever and wherever they may be.


18 June – 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.


11 June – St Ives Scrap Sculptures (family workshop)

Become a St Ives sculptor with artist Benny Semp – learn about the techniques used by Barbara Hepworth and Naum Gabo – and turn your household scrap into amazing Cornish-inspired sculptures!


4 June – Queer watch party with CineQ (adult themes)

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.

Read about CineQ’s work, Beccafumi’s ‘Reclining Nymph’, and find the watch list here.


28 May – Family Creepy Crawlies Q&A with entomologist Liam Crowley (family)

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 – watch it now.


21 May – 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.

Watch the meditative slip-casting process used to create a teapot and learn about casting, fettling and finishing.


14 May – 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’.


7 May – Ruth Turnbull – Concertina Creepy Crawlies (family workshop).

Artist Ruth Turnbull joins Barber Home to investigate creepy crawlies. Inspired by Wenceslaus Hollar’s 17th century prints, learn about insects and create your own folded sketchbooks and mobiles.


30 April – Infinite Opera.

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

Women in Hospitality Birmingham

Celebrate the Goddess Ceres and the four seasons with this series of delicious, mouth-watering recipes.

Learn more

Jon Sleigh – the queer gaze: emotion and erasure

What is queer historical erasure?

Learn more

The Barber Collective

Barber Collective: digital showcase

Learn more

Create a Camera Obscura – Jo Gane

Create your own camera obscura at home!

Learn more