Writer Jasmine Khan / Photographer Maddie Cottam-Allan
Whenever you’re at Dig Brew you have to eat the pizza, and Your Aunty’s Art Sale is no exception. I’m waiting on my Shrunken Head when Connor from Bad Girlfriend shows up. He sits down on the wooden bench next to me and buys me a beer – a rare occasion worth mentioning.
“Jaz? You know you’re the most wonderful, sexy person ever…” says Connor.
“I don’t have any baccie Connor,” I interrupt, wise to his gentlemanly charms.
Once I’ve finished my pizza and a pint of tasty Optimo, I reacquaint myself with the intimate art cove, where just over half a dozen artists are sharing their works as part of Daisy Richardson’s Your Aunty’s Art Sale. Which typically happens on the first Wednesday of every month.
The first artist I pop over to see is Poppy Wilkes, who uses silver art clay to set semi-precious stones in metal, and then fires them on a Bunsen burner to produce necklaces and other jewellery.
Poppy tells me, “I made most of them this morning,” gesturing to the shiny magpie treats below.
Just in front of Poppy is Haseebah Ali, 25, showcasing a collection of geometric Islamic prints, as well as mock stamps from the Syrian Arab Republic and other pieces inspired by the plight of Syrian refugees.
A professional artist since 2016, Haseebah says her works often addresses “… cultural issues, and 50% of the money gained from pieces on Syria will be donated to Syrian refugees.”
There’s a stark contrast between the consistency of her shape work against the drypoint etching pieces on Syria. The former evokes a sense of calm, and the latter fear and chaos, yet there’s understandable artistic and cultural reasons for pairing them together.
Faeby is nowhere to be found, but their art is pretty in your face, so I’m happy I get to explore the details without blushing in front of the artist.
In Faeby’s work naked or leather glad silhouettes stand against bold colourful backgrounds, with saucy, mid-century, Art Deco aesthetics.
And these sexy prints are situated perfectly next to Molly Rose Cleaver, whose abstract plant pots are paired with abstract tits. A sapphic delight.
Next I check out JD Allen. He’s brave enough to have set up next to our Resident Comic Whore, Maddie Cottam-Allen, and is selling prints of digital drawings of iconic Brum spots: Mr Egg, Medicine Bakery, BoneHead.
They’re sleek and feel like a gamification of the city. Although there’s no Brum piss stairs which is understandable, though still slightly disappointing.
Esme Stillaway doesn’t draw digitally but she doesn’t mind a bit of tech to make her works more accessible. Featuring a variety of illustration prints, clay dishes and tote bags with subdued sea blues, abstract spooky flowers and hands grasping galore, Esme’s art is a tad creepy while being curiously inviting.
Behind Esme is KANGA, one of the most interesting (and practical) art forms on display. With crochet hats, gloves, bags, bracelets and balaclavas perfectly positioned ahead of the Midlands winter, I’m really struggling not to make a purchase of the oh so fluffy, vibrant works of art.
Rude Brown Dude, whose name “came across randomly but fits” says that he moved back to Brum in 2018 and also does poetry. However, what jumps out at me first are the handmade bracelets which he explains are made with his sister.
“We were very artsy growing up but we didn’t come from the most privileged background, when lockdown came around she started doing crafts and I did poetry and stickers.
“This is our way of having time together and saying let’s go craft. She’s a big reason for why I am the way I am,” reflects Rude Brown Dude.
Rude Brown Dude has also got 69 ready-to-be personalised zines which cost £4.20, featuring his poetry, stickers and ‘gaff’. Which I think means ‘graff’, but obviously means graffiti.
Last but not least, it’s the Peroni Slut/Maddie who’s selling ‘Nice Italian Beer’ T’s, a print of her sexuality/an aerial view of Birmingham’s spaghetti junction, and her soul.
Her soul’s price is negotiable and I’m in need of a fresh one – I wonder if I can get her down to £3.59, it’s all the change I’ve got on me.
For more from Your Aunty’s Art Sale check out their Instagram @urauntysartsale
For more from Dig Brew go to: www.digbrewco.com