Mephistophelian pacts, spandex onesies, pyrotechnics, poodle-perms, thrash- industrial- and death-, the gamut of metal runs wide and deep, but it’s rooted in the West Midlands.
Next month a Home of Metal exhibition opens celebrating 40 years of heavy metal and its birthplace, Birmingham and the Black Country. It will run from 18 June – 25 September at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery where exhibition design is by Morag Myerscough.
Studio Myerscough won a pitch to take on the project and has sought to develop an atmospheric narrative that shows the social side of metal and it’s history.
This begins with the birth of Black Sabbath, backdropped by industrial Birmingham, how it influenced their sound and even led to an industrial accident which caused guitarist Toni Iommi to lose a finger tip.
‘There will be spaces that respond to the narrative of the subject – we’re even recreating Ozzie’s old living room,’ says Myerscough.
Videos and interactives have been integrated and there is an opportunity to play guitars she explains.
There will also be a film programme and conference over the course of the event as organisers seek to explore the foundations, social context and heritage of heavy metal culture.
Contributions will be made by Napalm Death founder Nic Bullen who has eschewed grindcore in favour of a career as an audio visual artist, and there is a solo exhibition by contemporary artist Mark Tichner.