Forward Programme 2023

Ikon announces its future exhibitions and education programmes:

The year begins with Horror in the Modernist Block, an exhibition of new and recent work by 20 UK and international contemporary artists exploring the relationship between architectural modernism and horror.

In March, Birmingham-based artist and activist Foka Wolf creates a gallery installation and billboard campaign that illustrates the invisibility of people with learning disabilities and / or autistic people in long-stay hospitals.

In summer 2023, Ikon transforms its galleries into a platform for performance art, with the first UK exhibition by acclaimed Indonesian performance artist Melati Suryodarmo.

This is followed by an exhibition by Birmingham-born artist Dean Kelland who exhibits the results of his four-year residency at HMP Grendon, Buckinghamshire, Europe’s only wholly therapeutic prison.

Ikon’s Education Programmes continue to address key social issues, often working off-site with artists to collaborate with schools and communities.

Ikon’s artist residency Art at HMP Grendon with Dean Kelland (2019–2023), continues to focus on the development of the prisoners’ artistic practice. Ikon has opened the Marie-Louise von Motesiczky Studio at Grendon – a dedicated space for workshops and exhibitions.

Ikon Youth Programme (IYP), with the support of Freelands Foundation (2021 – 2024), navigates the waterways on board Slow Boat, a converted narrow boat. IYP are collaborating with creative thinkers and makers to reimagine Slow Boat as a local art school, offering an alternative curriculum against the backdrop of funding cuts to arts education.

A Gift to Birmingham, Ikon’s collaborative research project with photographer Vanley Burke, Migrant Voice and University of Birmingham, tours to venues in the city.


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Ikon is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, and Birmingham City Council.

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