What a year 2011 has been for Home of Metal! The project really came into its own, as we produced a full and ambitious season of events all celebrating Heavy Metal and its birthplace – the Black Country and Birmingham.
After a couple of events early in the year, including an Open Day at The Public in West Brom with Johnny Doom, Krusher and the Juneau Projects and a screening of cult film ‘In Bed with Chris Needham’ at Flatpack Festival it was all systems go for our major exhibition at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery. ‘Home of Metal: 40 years of Heavy Metal and its unique birthplace’ opened on 18th June 2011 and was launched by Heavy Metal hero Tony Iommi.
The exhibition was a thrilling success, with fantastic audience numbers, international visitors and a huge amount of press attention. Exploring the many ingredients that together created Heavy Metal, the exhibition included unseen memorabilia, unique stories and key objects from Heavy Metal history.
From broadsheet newspapers to Metal press, to art magazines and beyond. Home of Metal proved its wide appeal with a breadth of press.
Other exhibitions across the region explored varying strands of the subject. Dudley Museum looked at the relationship between metal manufacturing and Heavy Metal music, Wolverhampton Art Gallery celebrated the visual impact of the music and the Leather Museum in Walsall exhibited a number of Judas Priest stage costumes.
September saw the UK’s first Heavy Metal conference take place in Wolverhampton. Key academic figures in the field of metal studies such as Deena Winstein of DePaul University, Chicago gave papers and discussed the notion of ‘Heavy Metal and Place’. Here are conference delegates outside Birmingham’s Iron Man statue:
From 1-4 September a weekend jam packed with events took place across the Black Country. The Vintage Mobile Cinema took a tour across the region screening archival footage, as well as a wealth of live music, screenings, exhibition events and family fun!
The VMC pulls up in Queen Square, Wolverhampton.
Crust/Grindcore band Selfless performed at The Lighthouse, Wolverhampton along with a screening of cult Judas Priest worshiping film ‘Heavy Metal Parking Lot’.
Throughout the year the Home of Metal digital archive has been active with contributions from music fans globally. You can browse the archive here
One exciting upload was this flyer for a Black Sabbath gig (billed as Earth) from 1969. This gig was the first time they performed the song ‘Black Sabbath’.
And the Home of Metal tea towel was created!