This isn’t a sponsored post.
This summer: Balsall Heath’s Living Room with Moseley Road Baths
Via Helen for Moseley Road Baths
July 2023: Moseley Road Baths is inviting people from Balsall Heath and Birmingham to come Back to Ours and visit Balsall Heath’s Living Room this summer. Until 30th September 2023, head to Moseley Road Baths for a swim and stay for the art, a cuppa, a chat and a quiet corner.
Produced by Tickertape Parade, Balsall Heath’s Living Room is part of Moseley Road Baths’ Diving In Project and is funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
Moseley Road Baths has an extraordinary history, and it is exciting as the building embarks on a major restoration and development project to ensure the building remains accessible, offering swimming, creativity, and heritage. Balsall Heath’s Living Room is designed to create a gentle space with and for local residents where visitors can relax, engage and chat.
Playful installations inside and outside the building will invite everyone to examine and celebrate their communal and individual heritage, as well as the rich, complex history of the Baths and of Balsall Heath, and to strengthen the future that we will create together.
Balsall Heath’s Living Room is a warm, accessible, intergenerational space within the Gala Pool. It is dressed with artworks, rugs, materials and soft furnishings with dressing and furniture sourced locally by Friction Arts, alongside artworks referencing the past, present and future of Moseley Road Baths.
Events throughout the next three months will encourage use as an inclusive space – including children’s gardening and adventure workshops, queer-positive performance events, and periods where the Baths is a protected safe space for marginalised and vulnerable groups. Every Thursday, the Living Room will be a dedicated women-only space throughout the day.
Entrance to the Living Room is via steps or a ramp and features images of local residents who have participated in Moseley Road Baths community programmes along with historic images of the building and the area. Upon entering guests can make themselves at home, take off their shoes if they want, have a refreshment and take one of the wireless headsets to listen to hyperlocal or global radio stations.
In the centre of Balsall Heath’s Living Room, Moseley Road Baths presents an installation by Nilupa Yasmin, curated by Ort Gallery, titled Hamara Ghar / Amar Ghor which translates to Our Home in Hindi/Urdu/Bangla. Hamara Ghar is inspired by and pays tribute to the intercultural prints and patterns of Balsall Heath through hung woven artwork.
The deep end features an oversized television installation created by Flatpack Festival, a giant old-school analogue TV, with audio via wireless headphones. Especially for Balsall Heath’s Living Room, Flatpack have created BHTV featuring swimming-themed family films, archive material from around Balsall Heath and Tom Merilion’s documentary Ritual about Moseley Road Baths itself. Visitors will be able to change channels to choose what they watch.
To ensure the space is as accessible and reactive to support needs as possible, Tickertape Parade are working with Sense Touchbase Pears over the first few weeks.
Tim Hodgson, Tickertape Parade said:
We’re so delighted to be ready to open up the Gala Pool and welcome people Back to Ours. We have lots of events and surprises planned for the next three months, but most importantly this is a shared living room where we want anyone to be able to work, play and relax for free.
We’re open every day so come and try it out and remember that this is your space – so just get in touch if there’s an event you’d like the living room to host or something you’d like to see on our TV.
See you there!”
On the front of the historic building, visitors will be met with playful installations curated by artist Tim Mills referencing the heritage of the building and the local area. Alternatively, visitors can enter through a step-free entrance at the back of the building via Edward Road, entering through a courtyard transformed into a community garden including a free play ‘mud kitchen’ installation by The Parakeet, growing sections filled with edible plants, herbs and flowers, and growing activity and grafting workshops delivered by Fruit and Nut Village.
Signage outside and inside the building has been created by artist Sharonjit Kaur co-designed with Bath’s regulars to welcome and guide people into and through the space.
For the full programme visit: moseleyroadbaths.org.uk/whatson.
Balsall Heath’s Living Room is part of the Moseley Road Baths Diving In Project funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund. Social media: MoseleyRdBaths