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Art lecturer’s exhibition to represent iconic Longbridge car factory


Exhibition of Mini Cooper to celebrate Longbridge plant

An art lecturer has been commissioned by Ikon Gallery to stage an exhibition dedicated to the landmark Longbridge motor works, formerly one of Birmingham’s most successful factories and the last British-owned volume car manufacturer.

A landmark exhibition

Stuart Whipps, a lecturer on the University’s BA and Art Design course, will exhibit his latest work at Ikon Gallery from Wednesday 11 – Sunday 15 September. Stuart’s exhibition has seen him restore a 1979 Mini Cooper car with the assistance of former British Leyland workers, and is a representation of the closure of the Longbridge motor works in Birmingham. The plant, which ceased production in 2016, caused significant job losses across the region.

“I like the idea that a Mini would sit in an art gallery in a traditional setting,” says Stuart. “It’s not trying to make it sculptural in an artful way through the subversion of materials, it’s through this straight presentation of ‘here’s this object and here are the narratives that relate to it.’”

Art and soul

The Mini exhibition is part of Stuart’s long-term art project The Kipper and the Corpse, which has been commissioned by WERK as part of the Longbridge Public Art Project. Stuart has exhibited across the globe as both a solo artist and in group exhibitions, winning the Observer Hodge Photography Prize in 2005 and the joint recipient of the East International Prize in 2009.

For more information on Stuart’s exhibition, visit the Ikon Gallery website.