This Saturday saw the launch of ‘Coming Out’ at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery. The exhibition features over 80 modern and contemporary artworks by internationally renowned artists who explore themes of gender, sexuality and identity in art. The event marks the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Sexual Offences Act which introduced the partial decriminalisation of male homosexual acts in England and Wales.
Here at GRIN, we were pleased to have been asked to create the exhibitions full identity and branding across both digital and print. Having worked with Birmingham Museums Trust in the past, we were super excited to get on board and create something special that supports the LGBTQ+ community of Birmingham.
Among the many artists is Tracey Emin, who is well known for her work with neon lights, created from antique glass in her own handwriting, containing expressive messages of self-assurance. It was Emin’s handwritten neon lighting that inspired the design for Coming Out’s identity and became the overriding theme of the whole project. One of her neon pieces “When I Think About Sex I Think About Men, Women, Dogs, Lions, Group Sex, (and I Love You All)” (2005) is featured in the exhibition (pictured below).
The aim of the brief was to attract a primary audience of city-dwelling, young professionals whilst also looking to incorporate a new, non-traditional audience to the exhibition, and on Saturday we saw a great turnout with a wide range of people turn up to see the exhibition. Comedian Joe Lycett (pictured below) and a selection of Birmingham’s finest drag queens turned up to launch the vibrant event and it was a pleasure for GRIN to be a part of it all.
Coming Out ended on 15th April. By the end of the 19 week run, the exhibition saw a total of 33,909 visitors, which exceeded Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery’s target by 41%! The exhibition gained great coverage on social media, and amazing reviews on local and nationwide press (take a look at some of the reviews here; HISKIND, BBC, Birmingham Updates, New Art West Midlands).
You can watch some of our motion work we did for the identity here;