Thursday, 18 October 2012

Pop Culture festival gives Birmingham an eyeful of candy

Last weekend Southside BID welcomed over 12,000 visitors from across the region to an action packed festival of illustration, art and design.

Eye Candy, a free two day festival, showcased a host of vibrant art including the UK debut of the first motorised installation from street artist Filthy Luker, which saw 18ft tentacles on the undercroft at Southside’s entrance wow the 12,000 people arriving at the festival.

Visitors were also treated to a special viewing of work by US-based artist Jeremyville, who debuted his Community Service Announcements in the UK for the first time at the awe inspiring festival. From 3D art to screen print workshops, visitors were able to attend a wealth of creative exhibitions across the weekend.

The festival saw many of Southside’s businesses and venues host a variety of activities and events such as a bespoke ‘Eye Candy Art Menu’ at French bar and restaurant Le Truc, serving everything from Portobello Mushroom Burgers to coq au vin skewers.

Art lovers also had the chance to get stuck in with workshops at the Birmingham Zine Fest, in partnership with Eye Candy. Held at Sidewalk on Hurst Street, the Zine Fest saw over 30 exhibitors from the world of illustration and comic book design showcase their work and host discussions. Sidewalk also housed Birmingham Zine Fest’s zine making workshop, which attracted over 1,000 people throughout the day.

Julia Chance, Southside BID manager, said: “Eye Candy was an outstanding festival which we were thrilled to have hosted here in Southside. It was inspiring to see such a diverse collection of art and we feel very lucky to have debuted some of the artists first pieces in the UK – especially Filthy Luker’s motorised green tentacles, which caused quite a stir!”

With the support of Southside BID, Eye Candy was set up by the team responsible for Fused Magazine.

Kerry O’Coy, editor of Fused Magazine and Eye Candy Festival coordinator, said: “The calibre of work on display at Eye Candy exceeded all expectations and it was fantastic to see such a great turnout. Everyone who came along had such a genuine appreciation for the festival and what it had to offer.”

Several of the planned ‘temporary’ pieces of work have proved so popular with business owners and building management that they have requested the work stays in situ to brighten up empty buildings. Jon Burgerman’s monster window vinyls on Oceana, Pete Fowler’s especially commissioned work on Vudu nightclub and Polish artist Tank Petrol’s striking mural on the side of Missing Bar each of the spaces have transformed the otherwise dull buildings. Meanwhile one of the world’s foremost female street artists, Lucy McLauchlan of Birmingham, was tasked with turning the gateway pillars of Hurst Street in to a beautiful piece of art.

For more information please visit and to find out more about Birmingham’s Southside district, go to

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