University artists stage Selfridges takeover


Selfridges in Birmingham will be transformed this week as part of collaboration with artists from Birmingham City University.

The Festival of Imagination will see the ground floor atrium of Selfridges be transformed into an artistic space; which will be used to celebrate the power of imagination. The event, which will be launched by Lucy Hawking, daughter of renowned physicist Stephen Hawking, will see the involvement of over 50 students and members of staff from the University.

Beth Derbyshire, Wheatley Fellow and artist-in-residence at the University’s Birmingham Institute of Art and Design, has been working on the inspirational project with postgraduate art student Anneka French. Her work includes the design of the specially created pop-up space that will become the Imaginarium.

Taking place over three weeks, between 5 - 23 February, the festival will see the store play host to a series of inspirational lectures, workshops and exciting live interactive experiences. Students from the University will be delivering a series of lightening talks in the Imaginarium covering a range of topics from; the supernatural, to the origins of watchmaking, what makes a painting and the fast-developing plans for HS2.

Beth Derbyshire, artist and lecturer at Birmingham Institute of Art and Design (BIAD), said: “As a city, Birmingham is known for being creative, imaginative, and a city that makes things. The Festival of Imagination is an inspiring initiative by Selfridges to encourage us all to think beyond modern day boundaries and imagine what might be possible in the future.

“This is therefore a wonderful opportunity for staff and students from the University to connect to Selfridges, to provide a free space in which retail and education come together to educate the public on how to unlock their own imagination.”

Beth Derbyshire worked with Selfridges to source and secure the ‘imagineers’ and has curated the festival during its three-week run, along with the producer, Sophia Tarr.

The Festival of Imagination is Selfridges’ follow up to its first wellbeing campaign, No Noise launched last January 2013, which promoted the power of meditation and ‘less is more’. No Noise became one of the store’s most talked-about initiatives ever.

For more information visit the Selfridges Festival of Imagination website.

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