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Recycling into Pride-perfect outfits

Our Longbridge Art & Design students have been preparing for Saturday’s Birmingham Pride session by making the most fabulous rubbish that Pride will see this year! That’s not what it sounds like… these glorious costumes are made entirely of recycled pieces, in a brilliant sustainability challenge!

How did they manage it? Local artist Garry Jones was employed by the Longbridge Art department to help prepare for Pride. “Carmen Burke and Kevin Herbert asked me to come in and give a talk about me and my career, and my association with the Birmingham LGBT community and art.” Garry and our students last worked together on the Cover Up Quilts exhibit for remembering the AIDs pandemic.

Garry said of the workshop: “The idea this year for Pride is Carnival Backpacks, in the tradition of Caribbean Carnival, made out of all the rubbish that we can get. We are recycling stuff to make something that’s colourful and beautiful, to be showing off the college and their creativity.”

The build took place over two workshops from measuring, cutting, designing, delicate balancing and all sorts. By the end of session 1 the students could try on the skeletons. By session 2, they were in full decoration mode.

“We were originally going to make four,” said Garry. “But there’s so many students involved, so now we’re going to make six. We’re using florist ribbon, garden canes, recycled under-flooring, nice silver foam insulation, you name it. With the garden canes we’re going to make it a bit like a peacock.”

They even had to think of health and safety – it has to be the right height to make sure the students or staff wearing their Pride peacocks aren’t poking anybody else in the eye, as well as safe material to avoid scratching the wearer.

You can see the full displays at Birmingham Pride this Saturday – look out for the colours of the college logo from our amazing staff and students! Thank you Garry for leading the charge and all our amazing hard workers for making the college proud. It is amazing what beauty and fun comes out at South & City College Birmingham when Pride is on the horizon.

Fancy starting an Art & Design course with us? Check out our courses here.