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A brand new exhibition in tandem with Kitson's show at Ikon Gallery

J. W. Evans Silver Factory is an unassuming building in Birmingham's Jewellery Quarter, hiding a warren-like slice of the city's history. Perserved by English Heritage, the museum was a working silver factory, manufacturing everything from gravy boats to cigarette cases from 1881 until 2008.

This year, the museum, in partnership with Ikon Gallery and as part of the charity's Creative Programme, hosts Silver Lining, a series of works by Dion Kitson, in parallel with his solo installation at Ikon, Rue Britannia. Silver Lining comprises found artefacts and sculpture hidden around the museum like jewels, representing and elevating symbols of post-industrial, working class culture.

In places, Kitson transforms cigarette ends and decomposing Frosty Jack's Cider bottles from enduring waste into high-art bronze sculpture. Elsewhere, he picks up scraps of real life social history preserved in the museum, bringing them into the foreground.

As the factory was in use for over a century, the museum's accumulated paraphenalia includes Victorian silver molds and machienery, beige, plastic, 1980s office stationery, all the way through to posters of football players. (Fair warning to visiting Blue Noses - whoever worked in the sorting office was a Villa fan...) Kitson uses the museum's breadth of history to honour a lost industrial past, and celebrate the history and popular culture of Birmingham and the Black Country.

J. W. Evans' factory is a great place to visit for anyone with an interest in Birmingham's social and industrial history. Walking through the maze of workshops, rooms and tight corridors feels like exploring a time capsule, discovering Kitson's gems of wit and wisdom hidden along the way.

The exhibition will be open to the public by guided tour on selected dates between 11 May and 6 September, bookable via the English Heritage website.

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