Whose house?

WELCOME TO THE BRUMHAUS

If you've so much as breathed near social media over the last twelve months, you'll likely have seen the work of modern artist and typographer, Alex Edwards, who is probably better known by reference to his online presence, Brumhaus. This week, we've been talking all things process with Alex. And, to exclusively discover his latest completed piece, you need do nothing more than read on.
Drink it in. It's Alex's take on the Library of Birmingham, together with a pair of chairs attractive enough to satisfy even the most discerning of Scandis. You can ignore the chairs. This is the thirteenth piece of art to have arrived under the Brumhaus banner since its inception in November of last year. A "designer of identities for places" by way of day job, Alex didn't spend a lot of time thinking about the clever, modernist title for his Birmingham designs, which is an almighty nod to the Bauhaus movement, a style which continues to permeate the worlds of design, art and architecture.
Alex likes to think deeply about his potential subjects before putting pencil to paper. Indeed, on his daily commute to Gas Street he tends to find himself considering every day locations in rather more detail than is customary. Once fixed on an idea, Alex "endlessly trawls the internet" for pictures of the selected location and then starts to develop sketches of his subject with a view to getting the composition of the piece just right, before the project moves on to what we can only imagine is Alex's rather sizeable computer.
The next step is to add geometric shapes and patterns which help to pull out the bits of architecture which most interest him. From a picture of a completed sketch uploaded to Photoshop, Alex then starts to apply the signature Brumhaus touch, "creating textures and a clean, geometric feel". And unless a piece is to remain in black and white, the style, which - for its simplicity - was originally favoured by Alex, it's time for the "most difficult part of the process" - getting the colour right.
And the rule to live by when it comes to Brumhaus? Less is most definitely more. Alex goes through "reams of versions when finalising a piece" and his biggest stumbling block is often in the detail, which - ultimately - he tends to remove a lot of. Centenary Square (pictured above) is released today and as is evident from the briefest of looks at the iteration that preceded it (pictured further above), the piece underwent a sizeable stripping back before Alex was finally finished. Clean, captivating and entirely stunning.

Buy prints, including those featured above (from £15.76) here and to keep up-to-date with the latest pieces by Brumhaus, subscribe to the newsletter.

MOVIE OF THE WEEK: ANT-MAN


The Marvel production line has resulted in a few crackers, and more than a few samey-feeling epics-by-numbers. There’s nothing rote about Ant-Man though. It’s funnier than most of the summer’s straight-up comedies, and manages to combine big laughs with the kind of plausible domestic emotions that you don’t find in Thor movies. The cast know exactly the kind of film they’re in: Paul Rudd both turns on the charm and sells the action, and Michael Douglas is the most engaged he’s been in years. Indeed, in delivering a family drama with superhero trappings rather than just levelling another city, Marvel may have dropped the film of the summer. Outside Mad Max, of course.

TEMPER, TEMPER: NEW WORK


Local boy and graffiti hero, Temper, has created a new piece to join his existing collection of works inspired by album covers of the entirely iconic variety. The latest piece by Arron - as we can only assume his family still call him - is based on the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band LP and is available to covet, swoon over, or even buy from Castle Fine Art's Brum outpost at the ICC from tomorrow (July 17). Small limited edition copies of the work on paper are on sale for £395 while you can procure a full-sized copy (on stretched canvas) for £3950, complete with a frame moulded from 36 disused vinyls. Because 37 is far too many and 35 is never enough.
Venue: Côte, The Mailbox, Birmingham, B1 1RX; Website
Choice: Eggs Royale (£8.50 or £9.95 with coffee and juice) Chooser: Manager

In the interest of full disclosure, we should probably start by saying that we paid a visit to the suntrap of a terrace at Côte on one of those rare and glorious Saturdays, where we felt compelled to slap sun lotion on anyone who looked amenable to the idea. If anything, though, this great British miracle might have worked to the detriment of the busy team at the Mailbox's canal-side French brasserie - every bit of outdoor seating was taken. All of it. Yet the kitchen's hourly made hollandaise was hot, zesty and indubitably fresh. Our eggs were loose and buttery. And without hesitation, our waiter was able to tell us that the understated heat cutting through the perhaps over generous portion of hollandaise was piment d'espelette, a chilli pepper cultivated in a French Commune of the same name. In the undisputed age of the Birmingham indie, there are still some chains which - for their top notch service and careful attention to food - remain worthy of your consideration. Full menu here.

PALLET-BASED LABYRINTH EMERGES


An urban labyrinth has shot up on the edge of the city centre and is available for your exploration and viewing pleasure for the next two weekends. Made from recycled wooden pallets the substantial pavilion-style structure - which is at least twice as high as us - houses the photos of some of the city's current crop of top snappers, including I CHOOSE besties, Verity Milligan and Tom Bird. Through the creation of new from old, the exhibition - which is curated by BM3 Architecture - asks you cultured lot to question what the future of Birmingham means to its inhabitants. And to facilitate an exchange of ideas, you'll get the chance to explore on paper what a Birmingham utopia might just look like. And best not draw a picture of us over and over again or it could just get embarrassing. From 10am until 4pm on Saturdays and Sundays until July 26. Entry is free. More here.
  • In celebration of all things alliterative, Beavertown Brewery is undertaking a tap takeover of Birmingham's beer bigwigs, BrewDog. Billions of beers (okay, ten) and a brewer. July 22
  • Performed by an award-wining theatre company, The Hideout comes to the OJS on July 23 & 24. Expect a fast paced, comedic re-telling of Theseus and the Minotaur, set in the 1920s. Tickets (£9) here
  • For all things shock and gore, head to the Electric's fifth incarnation of its cinematic horror fest of the same name, which starts Friday and includes all-nighters and food matched frights
  • Canoodle are at the Bournville Ale & Street Food Festival this Saturday and if you can get it, we're hearing tear-inducing things about the their soft-shell crab burger. Get plenty of the sriracha mayo
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"The building is the ultimate goal of all fine art"  - Bauhaus Manifesto, 1919

WORDS: Katy Drohan, Andrew LowryTom Cullen
I CHOOSE Birmingham, Office 317, Zellig, Gibb Street, Birmingham, B9 4AA 

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