The home of metal

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.  

The Home of Metal
The Home of Metal

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.

A black Sabbath banner
A black Sabbath banner

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.

A gig poster featuring Locomotic, Black Sabbath, and Tea  Symphony
A gig poster featuring Locomotic, Black Sabbath, and Tea & Symphony

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.

A range of leather costumes
A range of leather costumes

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.

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