Curated by Birmingham Museums Trust, Vanley Burke, Candice Nembhard and Paul Goodwin.

As one of the UK’s leading Black artists of the Commonwealth generation, this exhibition focuses on Vanley Burke’s journey to illustrate a wider, connected history of Black British experiences using the communities of Birmingham as a lens.

The artist has focused on re-examining his personal collection after he lost a number of archival materials to a house fire. The fire served as a turning point for his practice and this exhibition questions what it means to put these objects into a curatorial and historical context, gathering our past to pave the way for our future.

Cultural Education

A Changing Handsworth. A 2 Hour Taught Workshop. Key Stage Two and Three

From the emergence of the Industrial Revolution to its vibrant food scene, Handsworth is always changing, evolving and innovating!

Through this exciting new workshop we will examine the changes Matthew Boulton made to Handsworth by exploring his Georgian home, Soho House. We'll think about how the urbanisation of the area has impacted on biodiversity, and what we can do to protect the environment in the future.

In the second part of the workshop we'll visit our new exhibition 'Blood and Fire: Our Journey through Vanley Burke's History' to look at how photographer Vanley Burke has documented Handsworth's diverse communities. We'll end by thinking about what the future might look like for the area and the role we might play in it.

Fantastic for classes studying local history or planning a trip for Black History Month in October. This workshop is available from 26 May to 28 October, Wednesday to Friday. 

The session is £6 per child. Duration: 2 hours. Capacity: 30 pupils. We can only accommodate one class on site at a time. Contact


Generously supported by Arts Council England and The National Lottery Heritage Fund.