Art has always been a way for people to express themselves and share their perspectives to the world. Every person has a different experience of this life; therefore, art is interpreted differently by every individual which I think is a beautiful thing. I recently had the joy of visiting the Ikon gallery, located in Birmingham. A showcase of contemporary art created to encourage members of the community to engage in all forms of media, that is both accessible and inspiring. The gallery was designed in 1877 by John Henry Chamberlain, a nineteenth-century architect. It still stands today and is free to look around, with helpful, friendly staff on hand to ensure that visitors are comfortable and content with their visit.
At the time of my visit to the Ikon, the gallery had an exhibition showing Hew Locke’s artwork, an artist whom I had not previously heard off. Locke is a British sculptor as well as a contemporary visual artist, he is based in Brixton, London. His work fascinated me, due to its immense detail and historical source material. The exhibition showed how Locke explored colonial and post-colonial power. His work is based on his own experiences in life which I felt added a deeper level of meaning and allowed the visitors to feel a connection and understanding of the situation being presented in media form. The gallery presented Locke’s work is spacious rooms, having additional information about the exhibition available too. There was also a room where a television stood, and headphones, this was where a video played of Locke explaining his concepts and why he chose to create art, I found this to be interesting and it was lovely to see the artist behind the work. The staff were all knowledgeable of the artwork and the artist, they answered any questions I had in a polite and welcoming manner, ensuring my visit was pleasant and informative.
On the lower floor of the gallery, a café and a gift shop are found. The café offers a range of beverages and food choices for visitors, including indoor and outdoor seating areas. Inside the gift shop, you can purchase souvenirs from the gallery, they sell things such as postcards of artists work, prints and book on the subjects discussed and presented in the gallery. The prices are reasonable and staff are keen to help! A relaxed and friendly atmosphere is felt at this gallery, I was comfortable during my visit and found it to be extremely informative, I left with new knowledge and understanding of the arts.
If you are ever in the area of this gallery I would definitely recommend a visit! Very educational and modern setting, with plenty of opportunities to learn more about the world we live in. And knowledge is power after all.
Have you visited the Ikon?