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 a new campaign, 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.

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

Calling all insect explorers – ever wanted to know more about bugs?

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

If you missed it, watch Liam’s stream now to learn about categories and lifecycles and view some of his collection of preserved specimens.

As home is the new school, our Barber Home family resources link to the key stage 1 and 2 curriculum to support you in the kitchen table classroom.


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

Filmed in lockdown, ceramicist Wendy Tournay welcomes us into her Birmingham studio for this week’s edition of Barber Home. Responding to the Barber’s decorative Gold Teapot with Stand, made in 1785, Wendy shares with us the meditative slip-casting process used to create her own teapot and also explains casting, fettling and finishing. Wendy also gives an insight into her specialised freelance practice which includes design and making alongside teaching.

Watch the video on Instagram or Youtube now.


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

In this week’s Barber Home, artist Laura Onions shares a series of drawings, produced in lockdown, responding to Charles-François Daubigny’s 1861 etching, ‘Interior of an Inn’.

Particularly taken with Daubigny’s play with light and shadow, Laura has used pared down materials to explore the domestic landscape of her own home. The drawings make visible moments of familiarity and comfort, but also show the strangeness and insecurity we may currently find from these spaces.

View the drawings, read a Q&A and create your own responses:


7 May – Ruth Turnbull – Concertina Creepy Crawlies (Family Resource).

This week 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 in our downloadable activity.

As home is now the new school, all of our Barber Home family resources link to the key stage 1 and 2 curriculum to support you in the kitchen table classroom. This week explore history, science and art. Why not share your creations with us on social media using #BarberHome2020?


30 April – Infinite Opera.

In March we had the pleasure of hosting an event, Nocturnes: Ethereal Science / Constructing Beauty, in our Cornwall as Crucible exhibition. For this we commissioned Infinite Opera to make a response to the Barber’s recently acquired Constructivist sculpture, Linear Construction in Space No. 1 (1942 – 43), by the Russian artist Naum Gabo. It was a beautiful evening in which we celebrated music and art in the galleries.

Barber Home asked Infinite Opera to look back on their performance and share with us their thoughts on how they composed, researched and reflected on this event.

Sounds of Nocturnes

Hear an original composition created for Barber Lates

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From the Director

The Barber during the COVID-19 closure period

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Covid–19 (Coronavirus)

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Nocturnes: Ethereal Science / Constructing Beauty

Tuesday 3 March, 6 – 8.30pm

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