An online survey was developed to understand the breadth of arts activity that had taken place over the course of the course of the campaign and to assess local stakeholders’ response to the arts activity and their views on the impact this had on the campaign. A convenience sample was sought, and the survey was circulated to internal and external stakeholders via newsletters, direct emails and social media channels.
The survey was open for one month in May 2019 and was completed by 15 individuals.
Q3a If YES, please describe the image
External view of MRB
The logo (in badge form!)
One I have used is a photograph of a workshop discussion taking place, organised a few years ago by the Action Group (as was); tables, chairs, flip charts etc and people, in the shallow end of the Gala Pool. It sums up the issue.
There is a great print in the hall of the pool-hall’s three gothic windows also two swim heritage books full of images.
The current pool in use showing the pool surface and the roof supported by the arches, light up through natural sunlight.
The blue in the logo.
Picture of the Gala pool
It’s a view of the smaller pool, showing the windows & the iron roof arch The space is full of light & the overwhelming colour is turquoise The water is still (pool is empty of people) and looks very inviting
I almost answered ‘no’ as there could be many, but the immediate one that sprang to mind, and often does, is the one of a man and his child in the baths reception holding up a sign that says “fun” and beaming from ear to ear.
Calm deep blues, mind body spirit, grandad taking a bath in deep white tub.
The badge with tiles
The frequently used image of the whole exterior of the building.
If Yes, Please describe what it was? and When it took place – List as many activities as you can think of (free text)
Women & theatre; several photography projects; filming
Concerts, Fierce Festivals sign outside, ORT Gallery put on a performance piece in the laundry, women and theatre, BCU student show.
The Fierce events were very good and memorable. I also recall the various musical events that took place on one Friends’ open day (maybe it was the centenary year).
Balsall Heath Women and Theatre : ” Into the water”
Women & Theatre 2019
Women In The Water. (I’ve only been back a year).
Women’s Gala performance/March 2019. Janeau project Research May 2019
– One year, the ‘Fierce’ Festival did an installation of sounds (& lights) in the water — which unfortunately I missed
– Another year, they showed a projected image on the front of the building
– Recently (April ’19) there was a performance in the water by Women & Theatre (unfortunately I was away for that !)
– Live music events (several, but the last was at a special Open Day/ celebration to mark MRB being chosen by the World Monuments Fund — approx 2 yrs ago)
– ‘100 swimmers’ photo project
Recently: Women and Theatre performances. The Stitchery workshops. The photography student who did the old images superimposed on the new ones; Viv’s wonderful photographs.
Longer ago, maybe 6-7 years: a Friends open day that involved various arts things in different spaces including a selection of short videos that featured swimming (the Giraffes, 5m 80, is one I’ll never forget).
Very long ago: in about 1999 /2000 there was an arts event that involved, amongst other things, sounds being played through underwater speakers in the Gala pool.
Women & Theatre recent event which I wanted to attend but was sold out
Photography, people’s stories of their time spent at Moseley baths, theatre 3v3nt.
Women in Theatre
Stan’s Cafe’s Canute project (before my time, 2011?), the project which resulted in the bead ‘curtain’ in the foyer and images on cublice doors (2007?), Women and Theatre’s Into the Water (2019), Tom Merillion’s film ‘Ritual’ (aired on the BBC in late 1990s), Tom Merillion’s portraits (early 2000s), Instameets (ongoing), Fierce Festival projections and neon signs (2015?).
If Yes, please state how
Reinforced the importance of the building & pool design
All of these events reminded me how vibrant this community is and how much people engage with all the spaces in the building. Women and theatre made me see the importance people place on swimming in a new light.
They reinforced my belief that the building can become a significant location for music and other arts events, in addition to swimming.
Community creation and involvement
They made me notice the atmosphere of the whole place and its different spaces more.
Becomes more than a building, colourful stories connect the human element of the baths beautiful colours to life
If yes or no, tell us why you think that
Yes- because for years non-swimming activity in this building was to reiterate the history and heritage which was important in securing WMF backing and eventual coalition support.
Because they were public and therefore connected with a lot of people.
I believe that it created publicity for the Baths & their plight, although probably only amongst a small section of the public — so ‘meaningful’, but maybe not extremely substantial support that was immediately obvious
Because of my answer to Q6.. and because a good arts event gives people a sense of excitement at people’s inventiveness chiming with the splendour of the place and makes you see it differently from the differently lovely but rather functional experience of going for a swim. Remembering some of those arts events for this survey I have just been sat here smiling away.
I think any event or activities which involve local people getting the opportunity to visit the baths as a spectator, swimmer or simply enjoying the beautiful building will help.
Yes, sparks interest in visitors old and new to the love of the building
All of them raised awareness of the building, brought in new audiences and celebrated various aspects of the building’s history and architecture.
Q9. Would you say that contemporary art has an ongoing role to play in securing the future of Moseley Road Baths?
If YES, please outline your thoughts on why? If NO Please give thoughts on why not
Yes – will bring in new audiences & create a new vibrant image
Yes- I think art is always important in public engagement. It provokes thought, brings joy, and can be an excellent public engagement tool. And this building is a work of art!
Yes. It has enormous potential.
YES Recreational amenities and cultural amenties naturally overlap and strengthen each other and have a common purpose.
YES. It would encourage a broader spectrum of visitors and raise awareness with a new group of people.
It raises public awareness of the building/facilities, which in turn attracts people to visit the building.
The more the building is used the better. Different people will visit for different reasons and footfall and awareness/interest will be greater.
Yes, art can represent the past ,present and future of any subject it can bring vision in cases that words are over looked or may be misinterpreted.
Yes I think it is very important to combine the new with the old
Not sure how necessary it is for the art to be contemporary — I think it needs to be perceived as ‘relevant’
Yes. I’m not really involved with the arts world at all, but from what I’ve seen at MRB and in other places I know that art adds this huge and invigorating other dimension to the ‘nuts and bolts’ focus on operational issues, governance, people management and all the rest. More practically it also brings different people into the space, enables non-swimming spaces to BE used…. and attracts different funding streams!
See above response. It’s a great way of involving people
Yes, art evokes emotional connections and can speak without necessarily using words.
Very important to use the venue for many purposes to widen participation. It lends itself to the arts in many ways.
Yes – anything that raises awareness of the building is good. I also think that the audiences who are likely to come to events could be important advocates for the building.
Q10. The National Trust has commissioned artists Juneau Projects to deliver a new contemporary art commission that will celebrate the re-opening of the dramatic and beautiful Gala Pool.
Do you think this is positive project for the baths?
Yes due to profile raising & more people seeing the site’s potential
Yes- bringing new/ different a audiences here is important as is cementing MRB as a community resource and hub.
Yes for all the above reasons.
YES. People as artworks. Their appearance, conventions or lack of convention, language, lifestyles, possessions, ambitions, songs and stories. Communities that form around public buildings like baths or public houses or libraries.
Yes. They are exciting contemporary artists who make work with a broad appeal and are nationally admired. There is a vibrant art scene in the Midlands and their involvement with the baths will surely attract a lot of interest.
Yes. With the news of the public gala being opened, it will show that the Trust is operating successfully, not only within its means but with the ability to initiate bigger projects. This will attract local news headlines, which may create more publicity and pride in the area/building. This will boost confidence of the council and more sponsers.
Yes. As above plus enhancing the building.
It must be diverse in reaching its audience for with what it intends to communicate, celebrating where it started and a insight into the future and importantly try and show the significance of such a project and how it benefits generations past and present for many years to come. Hopefully another century
I think this will have a very positive effect given the national and international profile the National Trust can provide
Yes, I think this could have a positive effect — I believe that a special commission will require real engagement with the site (& following on from this, with its users & helpers, and its whole social context & setting) I’m presuming too that a commissioned piece of work will be site-specific and therefore people (users, locals, helpers) will feel interested, included and involved, and feel that the art (& the Baths) belongs to them
Very much so, but my answer will just echo what I said at Q8 and Q9…. The Gala pool in particular needs to make a splash (ho ho) when it’s useable again and with no water in it, an arts project is a good way to make that happen.
Absolutely definitely. The campaign needs anything and everything to keep the renovation and restoration of this in the public domain.
Definitely, I’m excited to witness another landmark celebration of support, love and determination to raise Moseley Baths back to its former glory.
Yes, as above
Yes, again it is a new perspective, an opportunity to invite in new audiences, it creates space for people to look at the building with fresh eyes – and if it involves participatory practice then it can engage local people in a really meaningful way.