Past Exhibitions

Eastern Bloc Songs

Eastern Bloc Songs: Party, Pop and Politics 

Wayne Burrows

07.09.2018 – 03.11.2018

To coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Prague Spring in Czechoslovakia during 1968, and in anticipation of next year’s 30-year anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, Centrala is delighted to present Wayne Burrows’ Eastern Bloc Songs: Party, Pop and Politics, the history and development of popular music from former Eastern Bloc Communist states during 1963 – 1988. Archive materials such as state approved photographs, posters, EP nad LP sleeve art, TV footage and promotional films brought together by Wayne Burrows, create a peculiar, audio-visual archive of Central and Eastern European music, closely tied up with complicated political context.


100 Years, So What?

Polish Multimedia Artists on Centenary of Women’s Voting Rights

13.06.2018 – 28.07.2018

Centrala presents a group exhibition 100 Years, So What? by Polish multimedia artists: Małgorzata Dawidek, Iwona Demko, Dorota Hadrian, Zofia Krawiec, Katarzyna Perlak, Alicja Rogalska and SIKSA.

2018 marks the centenary of women gaining voting rights in many countries around the world including Poland and the UK. Artists show their works that enter into a dialogue on what this centenary means for women now, through the new mediums of avant-garde art.

‘’…today’s world needs transgression from the growing level of inequality and injustice. The centenary of women’s emancipatory work in Poland, since obtaining the rights for voting, is the centenary that mirrors the ability of humanity to get rid of one of these injustices, the gender inequality, perhaps get rid of gender in general.’’ (Urszula (Ulla) Chowaniec)


100 Years So What

Ground Control

Ground Control

Anca Benera & Arnold Estefan

03.02.2018 – 31.03.2018

Centrala Gallery presents a solo exhibition of Bucharest based artist-duo Anca Benera and Arnold Estefan, with series of installations made between 2012 to present, including a new commission created especially for Centrala.

Anca Benera and Arnold Estefan expose strategies of power in social, economic, and political contexts. Their research-based art practice is a new form of realism which may be very effective in the post-truth era we live in. Using different kinds of artistic media, new technologies and science they implement new aesthetic in which an artwork is the visual evidence of crimes committed by institutions of power on individual. Benera and Estefan debunk the imposed order and open a space to discuss a change in the future.



Karol Radziszewski

11.11.2017 – 06.01.2018

Centrala invites you to see the exhibition QAI/CEE by Karol Radziszewski.

Karol Radziszewski presents a rich selection of Central and Eastern European queer archive materials from the collection of the Queer Archives Institute (QAI). The QAI, established by Radziszewski in November 2015, is a non-profit artist-run organisation dedicated to research, collection, digitalisation, presentation, exhibition, analysis and artistic interpretation of queer archives, with special focus on the countries of the former Eastern Bloc. The QAI is a long-term project open to transnational collaboration with artists, activists and academic researchers. The Institute carries out a variety of activities and projects – from exhibitions, publications, lectures, and installations to performances.The “QAI/CEE” exhibition also features Radziszewski’s photographs and video works.



Funny Things Festival

Funny Things Festival

Centrala Pop Up Gallery

23.10.2017 – 05.11.2017

As part of Funny Things Comedy Festival Centrala will pop-up at Wulfrun Centre – Wolverhampton to present a group exhibition of graphic design and illustration by young and established artists; Matúš Maťatko (SK), Ola Szmida (PL) and Karolina Jonc Buczek (PL), and Monika Szydlowska (PL) from Central and Eastern Europe.

Graphic design and illustration has played a very important part in Central and Eastern European culture. During the Communist regime they were probably the only colourful things one would see in the streets. A small but dedicated market for Central and Eastern European graphic design and illustration has emerged over the years. Driven by more than just nostalgia, it aims to preserve what is both a testament of a cultural heritage largely unknown outside its borders and an immense source of inspiration for today’s young artists.


What The Eye Doesn’t Know

Karina Marusińska 

22.09.2017 – 04.11.2017

This exhibition reveals what lies beneath the surface of everyday reality. It shows what happens behind the TV screen, dirty window on a bus, foggy glasses, behind our back and in our preoccupied mind. Those things which we usually don’t notice because we don’t want to, we are not able to, we are afraid of or simply we don’t believe we can achieve. The exhibition is composed of two elements which were realised during a residency in Birmingham. Both of them tell us that looking beneath the surface is worthwhile.


What The Eye Doesn’t Know

Terra Firma

Terra Firma

Barbara Mihályi

02.09.2017 – 16.09.2017

While the 57th Venice Biennale is taking place in the city of canals, Centrala is delighted to present Venice based artist Barbara Mihályi and her take on the Venice of the North.

Terra Firma is the first UK exhibition of emerging Hungarian artist Barbara Mihályi. ‘Terra Firma’ means solid earth; the earth beneath our feet, a sense of longing and belonging to a place. The exhibition brings together a collection of photographs and video blogs produced during Barbara’s residency in Birmingham.


Birmingham By Pass

Lucy McLauchlan

09.06.2017 – 08.07.2017

Centrala is delighted to host British born artist Lucy McLauchlan. Lucy’s large-scale monochromatic paintings have covered multi-story buildings across Europe, gigantic billboards in China, windows in Japan, huts in The Gambia, Italian water towers, Norwegian lighthouse, Detroit car parks and abandoned NYC subway tunnels.
Implicit within her work is a deep respect for nature as she draws inspiration from her immediate environment; allowing it to inform and direct what is an intuitive and explorative process.

Within Lucy’s ongoing ‘investigation’ into some of Birmingham’s more unapparent areas, ‘Birmingham By Pass’ features new works referencing her days spent along the canals and waterways of #Digbeth. Culminating in an installation at the intimate gallery space located just off the canal within Centrala.

Lucy’s residency runs from 9th June to 8th July, with works along the surrounding canal side.
For more information head to Lucy’s website and

Residency in Collaboration with Supersonic Festival


Lucy McLauchlan



Olga Grotova, Nika Neelova & Yelena Popova

27.01.2017 – 25.03.2017

Centrala proudly presents SEVENTEEN by Olga Grotova, Nika Neelova, Yelena Popova – Group exhibition of Russian Female Artists.

As human lifespan keeps increasing, doubles of all the decades will occur. One could think of the ‘30s as the 2030’s or the 1930’s. In 1917 there was a Russian revolution. Russians still refer to it as ‘The revolution of the year seventeen’, but from this year it will mean both 1917 and 2017. Three artists in the show are drawn to this suggested doubling of history: a return to a fluctuating point in the past and reaching out to an illusive future. This suspended, circular, contemporary state of déjà vu gives rise to the idea of a reanimation of time.



Jindřich Štreit

29.01.2016 – 30.03.2016

Centrala presents the exhibition ‘Sovinec’ by Jindrich Streit, one of the most important Czech Documentary Photographers.

For over 40 years, primary school teacher Jindrich Streit has been photographing the people of his home village Sovinec in the north of the Czech Republic.
Having always lived and worked among his subjects Streit is well known locally and is assumed to always be carrying his camera. His photographs strikingly reveal this intimate relationship with the villagers, but are often brutally frank about the hard life that was etched out by the people of Sovinec. These images were unsettling for the authorities, who in 1982 imprisoned him for, amongst the other things, photographing a party meeting where people were asleep. As a result, he lost his teaching job and had to join his friends who worked on the local collective farm. Despite this, Streit persevered with his photographic work, responding by opening his house to the local community and building a gallery for contemporary art on the first floor. Today it is a remarkable cultural centre that attracts work from around the world.

This Exhibition is supported by Arts Council EnglandCzech Centre London in London, Eric Franck Fine Art and The Side Gallery. The Exhibition is part of the #CaptureBirmingham weekend 19- 20 March.


Artist Information: Sława Harasymowicz

Sława Harasymowicz is a Polish-born, London based artist. Graduate of the Royal College of Art, she is currently a PhD candidate at University of the Arts, London. Her practice negotiates the positions between the personal and the public in exploring questions around history, memory and identity. Harasymowicz is also a published artist, including Wolf Man, a graphic novel based on Sigmund Freud’s case study (2012). Her work is held in V&A Prints and Drawings Permanent Collection and other public and private collections.

Exhibition Information: H.N.5 515

In H.N.5 515 Sława Harasymowicz uses personal biography (and documentary records) to explore one of the biggest World War II maritime disasters that still remains obscured in history and clouded in ambiguity.

On 3 May 1945 in Neustadt Bay near Lübeck, three stationary German ships, Cap Arcona, Thielbek and SS Deutschland were torpedoed by RAF Hawker Typhoons. The production of these timed mechanisms proved poignantly if ironically futile in confrontation with the fighter-bomber planes.

As a way of unpacking or exposing the personal and public significance of this event and interrogating the impulses of knowledge, destiny, timing and control, Harasymowicz juxtaposes drawing, print, found footage, archives and sound.


Exhibition Information: ANTONISZ: Experimental Animation Exhibition

Many times awarded at film festivals in Poland and abroad. His work is a singular and one time phenomenon. Deep reflections are hidden under these humorous and seemingly light-hearted films and the expressive and, as it were, over-wrought music and ‘raw’ animation with its trembling contours and pulsating colours give them their unusual strength of expression.

“…Only films made with the Non Camera technique can be called authentic works of visual, painting, graphic and musical art…”


Antonisz was a maker of animated and experimental films, one of the founders of the Cracow Animated Film Studio, an inventor and a composer.
He made 36 films, of which the majority were drawn directly onto film tape. In 1977’s Non-Camera Artistic Manifesto, he formulated his vision of the artistic film, created directly onto the film tape without the use of a camera, stating that: “…Only films made with the Non Camera technique can be called authentic works of visual, painting, graphic and musical art.”

Artist Information: Małgorzata Dawidek Gryglicka

Małgorzata Dawidek is a visual artist born in Poland. She studied Painting (1996-2001) and Art Criticism (1997 – 2002) at the Academy of Fine Art in Poznan. She got her PhD in art history at the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan (2009). She is now an Assistant Professor in the Institute of European Culture at Polish University Abroad in London.

The artist started her six week residency at Centrala Gallery where she will be working on her project “Conversio”.

Exhibition Information: Conversio [“The Topography of Intimacy”]

“Conversio” is a multi-lingual & visual narration based on the stories of migrant women.
The project will consist of a series interviews and video-animations based on these, as well as art design objects, publications and series of literary and artistic workshops.
The main idea behind the project is to investigate the processes of adoption and redefinition of the woman’s past life experience in the context of dramatic changes in life conditions.
Another aim is the analysis of the phenomenon of female emotionality and women’s bodies understood as a feature of memory, a medium of history, alongside changes and reevaluations dependent on external circumstances. “Conversio” refers to the female body, understood as a process-narrative, a developing text. It analyses the phenomenon of the body, which on the one hand is subjected to language, and on the other hand refuses articulation and immunizes itself against words. The body becomes a part of a wider plot, but also as a condition its leading.

Exhibition Information: PIND: Estonian Art Project

PIND is an international art project, organised by the independent cultural producer Jaanika Okk and the Polish Expats Association. The project focuses on site specific art and collaboration. The aim of the project is to create a platform for international relationship between artists from Tallinn and Birmingham. Generating discussions and exchanging experiences as well as knowledge for mutual growth.

PIND (surface or a space in Estonian) represents the space in Birmingham, which Estonian artists are occupying during two month period.

Artist’s Information: Anton Koovit, Carl-Robert Kagge and Uku Sepsivart 

Three artists Anton Koovit, Carl-Robert Kagge and Uku Sepsivart with the street art background from Tallinn, Estonia will take over Centrala Gallery and Minerva Works wall depicting produce and items that are symbolic of Estonian life.

Artist Information: Gee Vaucher & Oscar Kasperek.

Gee Vaucher is a visual artist who was born in 1945 in Dagenham, East London. Her work with Anarcho-punk band Crass was ovular to the ‘protest art’ of the 1980s. Vaucher has always seen her work as a tool for social change, and has expressed her strong anarcho-pacifist and feminist views in her paintings and collage. Vaucher also uses surrealist styles and methods.

 Oscar Kasperek’s work is equally provocative and thoughtful from his portraits of fellow prisoners to his use of stamps which leave small traces in the environment to present a dialogue with the surrounding world.

Exhibition Information: Dissidents and Dreamers
Centrala Space presents an Exhibition of Anti Authoritarian Protest Art and Music from the East and West.  This exhibition is a selection of Punk protest art  and documents produced before the fall of the Iron Curtain from the East and West, including works by Gee Vaucher and Oscar Kasperek. Gee Vaucher’siconic imagery made with Anarcho-punk band Crass was inspirational to the ‘protest art’ of the 1980s and still resonates today. From the same period but on the other side of Europe Oscar Kasperek’s work was equally provocative. The exhibition is the part of Supersonic Festival.