BCMG and Grand Union take art to Mexico

Boosts international profile of Birmingham’s burgeoning contemporary arts scene.

Two of Birmingham’s leading arts organisations are travelling to Mexico to mark the UK-Mexico Year of Culture. The projects, led by Birmingham Contemporary Music Group and Grand Union, are a boost to the international profile of Birmingham’s growing and significant contemporary art scene.

Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, the ensemble founded by musicians from the CBSO with encouragement from Sir Simon Rattle, will perform at Festival International Cervantino in Mexico later this month. The festival, which takes place annually in Cervantino, a city in central Mexico, is one of the most important cultural events in Latin America.

Meanwhile Grand Union, the contemporary art gallery and artists’ studios based in Digbeth, have sent artist Andrew Lacon to undertake a research programme into pre-hispanic art at SOMA, a contemporary art institution in Mexico City.

Stephen Newbould, BCMG Artistic Director, explained: “BCMG’s musicians are in demand internationally and it seemed apt that during the UK-Mexico Year of Culture we should travel to Cervantino to perform at their acclaimed festival. We will perform music by some of Britain’s leading living composers and as such we are ambassadors for Britain and our home city, Birmingham.”

Kim McAleese, Programme Director of Grand Union, added “Grand Union is still a young organisation – only five years old – and already we are making links with contemporary art galleries around the world. Our research project in Mexico City not only links us to that city, but the knowledge that we’ll gain will come back to Britain and inform the creation of new art here in Birmingham. These kind of projects help to put the city on the international art map.”

2015 is the UK-Mexico Year of Culture and initiatives are taking place in both the UK and in Mexico to strengthen cultural links between the two countries.