Installation view, Compost Culture at the Library of Birmingham, 2023.
Artists' Studio

General Public

Artists’ Studio & Roof Terrace

The New Art Gallery Walsall is delighted to be working with General Public, the collaborative practice of Birmingham-based artists Chris Poolman and Elizabeth Rowe. Their large-scale public art projects incorporate heritage, local history, fiction, myth-making, and environmental responsibility, and result in varied multi-disciplinary outcomes developed and produced in collaboration with the community and other artists.

Recent and current projects include the Birmingham Allotment Project, which explored the heritage of allotments in Birmingham from the 1960s to the present day, and Compost Culture, an ongoing multi-site project working to transform people’s views around food waste and composting, supported by the National Lottery Climate Action Fund.

General Public will use their residency to create meaningful links with local growing initiatives and community groups in Walsall, sourcing natural building materials from their sites and inviting them into the Gallery to be part of a making group called Mud Club. Together, they will use mud, clay, cob (a natural building technique involving clay, sand, and straw) and other natural materials to co-produce a series of animal sculptures inspired by a 1970s play project in Highgate, Birmingham, led by Play Worker Dave Swingle.

Alongside work with Mud Club, General Public will continue long-term development work on a giant earth head sculpture, specially commissioned by the Gallery for the exhibition More than Us (15 November 2024 – 8 June 2025).

For the first time with this residency, the Floor 4 roof terrace will be used as an extension to the Floor 1 Artists’ Studio, an outdoor studio space for artists and artist-led public engagement initiatives.