Ways of Belonging: Taste

Adam Neal, Asuf Ishaq, Nilupa Yasmin & Santhanha Nguyen 27 February – 29 May 2020


Following the recent government guidelines, Birmingham Hippodrome has taken the difficult decision to continue with the temporary closure of the venue to the general public until April 20, 2020.


An Ort Gallery offsite exhibition featuring Adam Neal, Asuf Ishaq, Nilupa Yasmin & Santhanha Nguyen at Birmingham Hippodrome

This exhibition questions the issue of working class representation in the culture sector through the work of four artists working and living in and around Birmingham: Adam NealAsuf IshaqNilupa Yasmin and Santhanha Nguyen.

The British cultural workforce has a severe lack of workers with working class origins. Since 2010, Jerwood Arts has found, the “class crisis has deepened, with […] chronic issues of socio-economic under-representation.” People from lower socio-economic backgrounds seem to be missing in the arts. 2018’s Panic! report baldly states, “cultural tastes play an important role in getting into upper middle-class occupations. Hiring can be a form of cultural matching, excluding those who do not have the shared tastes of specific social groups.”

The artists featured in this exhibition question the concept of privilege, share their personal stories and offer an alternative view of representation. By challenging the bias of the industry, they become activist-artists as well as role models to young people growing up in Birmingham with similar life experiences.

For the exhibition, Nilupa Yasmin was in residence at Chandos Primary School in Highgate, where she used weaving to engage the local community and connect them to Birmingham Hippodrome. The creations of young people are exhibited alongside her own work to strip back notions of ‘high’ versus ‘amateur’ art and encourage more inclusive attitudes within the industry.

Find out more info about the show on the downloadable handout here

This exhibition is curated by Josephine Reichert. Ways of Belonging is an ongoing series of off-site exhibitions by Ort Gallery offering emerging talent professional development opportunities in renowned organisations and supporting the partner organisation to improve their representation and reach new audiences.

On display at Birmingham Hippodrome in Level 2 gallery. Pop in from 10am Mon-Sat (Free Entry).  

Featured imaged by Adam Neal, In Loving Memory Of, 2019