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Gillian Wearing

A Real Birmingham Family: BBC Birmingham

5 August — 8 September 2013

BBC Birmingham, The Mailbox, Birmingham B1 1AY

A Real Birmingham Family is Ikon’s ongoing project (2011–2014) with Birmingham-born, Turner Prize winning artist Gillian Wearing: a quest to find,  and immortalise in bronze, a ‘real’ Birmingham family.

The project draws attention to the unsung, raising questions about civic identity and what it means to be a family today. During 2011/12, residents of Birmingham were asked to nominate their families to be the face of Birmingham. No limits were placed on how the twenty-first century family might define itself.

From the many hundreds of self-nominated families, a shortlist of four has been chosen by a diverse panel of community, cultural and religious figures. Each family is distinct, from an extended family of neighbours to single parents, representing a diverse range of social and cultural backgrounds.

These families are the core of an exhibition presented in the BBC Birmingham Public Space at The Mailbox during the summer. In short films the families talk about being from and living in Birmingham, and their identity as a family.

The panel will select one family to be the subject for the new public sculpture, with the decision announced before the end of the exhibition. The final sculpture will be located in Centenary Square outside the new Library of Birmingham in 2014.

A Real Birmingham Family is supported by Birmingham City Council and BBC.