As part of his cultural studies research at Birmingham University in the late 60s, American student Richard P Rogers followed young artist Frank Cook from Ladywood back-to-backs to a studio at MAC and on to art-school in London. These images, showing in Birmingham for the first time since they were taken fifty years ago, offer a panorama of the city at a time of disorienting change, covering everything from slum clearances and traveller camps to Saturday afternoon at the Hawthorns. They also document the Midlands Arts Centre in its early years; pottery workshops, music rehearsals, chess games and discos. Accompanying the images are Frank's own reflections from the time on his journey between these very different worlds, part of a conversation about social mobility and the arts which continues today.
This exhibition is part of Birmingham 68, a major strand of this year's 12th Flatpack Film Festival (13-22 April).
With thanks to Susan Meiselas and Cadbury Research Library.