A joint exhibition of new work by Jemma Gunning and Tracey Thorne opens on the 2 March 2020 at The Hive Gallery.

The Fading City is inspired by the textures and typography of buildings that surround us, and calls on us to immerse ourselves in a world that might otherwise slip by. Both artists have produced new works for the exhibition using different printmaking techniques to draw out the character and souls of the buildings.

Exhibition Programme

Open daily from Monday 2 March to Saturday 14 March 2020.

Monday 2 March, 4pm-8pm open to the public

Opening times weekends 12-4pm

Opening times weekday - 8am-3.30pm


Launch event with talk and panel discussion

Monday 2 March, 5.30-8pm 

Join us for the opening of the Fading City exhibition which features new work by Jemma Gunning and Tracey Thorne whose prints explore the textures and typography of some of Birmingham’s old buildings.

5.30pm - the exhibition opens for viewing and refreshments

6.30-8pm - guests are warmly invited to join us for a panel discussion inspired by the exhibition which focuses on the cities fading heritage in terms of its historic buildings, people’s connections to places and the loss of local crafts such as sign-painting. They will also consider how art might also enable local communities to reveal or illuminate forgotten, discarded or marginalised aspects of the urban environment.

The panellists include Andrew Fuller (City Design Manager, Birmingham City Council, Stuart Holt (Founding Director, Javelin Bloc), Gary Embury (Senior Lecturer, University of the West of England) and the exhibition artists Jemma and Tracey.


Meet the Artists

Sat 7 March at 12 noon 

Join the artists Jemma Gunning and Tracey Thorne for an interactive tour of the exhibition and hear more about their work. The session will include sharing of stories of from the past life inside two of the buildings featured in the exhibition; the artists will be joined by Robert Houston, former director at Jones and Palmer whose family acquired the printers and stationery business in the 1950s.

BOOKING ESSENTIAL HERE: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-fading-city-meet-the-artists-tickets-92036261937

Sat 14 March at 12 noon

Join the artist Tracey Thorne for an interactive tour of her work featured in the exhibition and hear more about her original documentary photograph project recording ghost signs in Birmingham. Tracey will share during the session some additional photographic material and objects that help tell the story of the buildings featured in the exhibition. The talk focuses on how the craft of sign-writing helped add character and individuality to our streets which is important when you want to create places that matter to people.

BOOKING ESSENTIAL HERE: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-fading-city-meet-the-artist-talk-tickets-92191397953


Print and Sign Makers Workshop

Sat 7 March 2-4pm

Join us for a creative session inspired by the craft of print making and sign-painting to explore some of the themes of the exhibition by making your own prints and ghost signs.

Participants will be invited to join two groups led by the artists and get the chance to try both types of arts.Join Jemma Gunning for a fun afternoon of experimental mono-printing. Using photographs that Jemma has taken from inside Alabaster and Wilson and Unity Works, you will get the opportunity to respond to them using mono printing processes. Jemma will demonstrate the tools and materials that can be used to create a one-off image so you are able to take home a set of unique prints. Tracey Thorne will be joined by Birmingham based sign-painter Jim Kerr (Seven 9 Signs) who will demonstrate the craft of sign-writing by live painting a sign for The Hive in the style of a ghost sign. The group will be invited to try their hand at making their own ghost sign during the interactive session.

No experience necessary just come and have fun experimenting with the different art forms. All materials will be provided.

BOOKING ESSENTIAL HERE: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-fading-city-printing-and-sign-making-workshop-tickets-92188230479

About the Artists

Jemma Gunning is a printmaker based in Bristol and has produced new work for the exhibition commissioned by the Jewellery Quarter Townscape Heritage project. For her commission Jemma visited two derelict buildings, Alabaster and Wilson and Unity Works to record their transient states, capturing our fading heritage. The use of intaglio and mono-printing processes resonate with the decaying structures she has recorded, preserving memories and documenting these extraordinary spaces.

Tracey Thorne is based in Birmingham and uses photography to explore the ephemeral painted walls found on the streets. The exhibition showcases ten screen-prints by Tracey Thorne that explore Birmingham’s disappearing faded advertising signs sometimes called ‘ghost signs’ found on buildings in Digbeth and around the Jewellery Quarter.

For more information follow on facebook @thefadingcity