Commonplace Press?

Commonplace Press is a space that decolonises ways of work and encourages community through the practice of publishing.

Operating within Birmingham School of Art; Commonplace Press is a publishing house led by Polly Brant and Gugan Gill, working alongside 12 students from BA Fine Art and BA Art and Design from each level.

Commonplace Press aims to support transition through a series of inter-level and collaborative workshops and events that will culminate in the publication of the first Commonplace Annual, showcasing works by students across all undergraduate levels. This contemporary and responsive programme is essential within the art school, blurring the lines between levels and creating a space without hierarchies. This would allow students to build relations and expand on the school’s community, sharing knowledge and skills which will benefit students during and after university. 

Prioritising and amplifying marginalised voices, we aim to decolonise the curriculum in our approach to making and pedagogic practices, considering and encouraging curiosity. Our non-hierarchical approach will allow for a co-operative community, away from the restrictions of institutional education and pressures of marking criteria, thus decolonising teaching, and learning whilst also finding a space for creative freedoms. Such is important as we realise unequal makeup of academia and learning stretch beyond the walls of institutes and therefore multicultural, diverse, and inclusive representation is essential to overcome imbalance.

Workshop facilitation is key within our practices, inviting and encouraging collaborative work. From participant-led activities to ones with more structure, workshop facilitation has built up our knowledge of how to create engagement and meaningful connections.

Having produced a degree show publication and digital media content during our time at Birmingham School of Art. We have experience collating art and information and found ways to make such content accessible for people outside of the institute, understand the logistics of publishing and the importance of collectivism.


©Commonplace Press
Collaboration, community, publishing