Generations : by Julian Germain, in partnership with Multistory, part of the Birmingham 2022 Festival


GENERATIONS is a ground breaking project by Julian Germain.    New work was commissioned for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games that saw 30 families taking part to mark a moment in time and celebrate the diversity and heritage of Birmingham and Black Country.

Julian Germain’s GENERATIONS use the family portrait format to create a fascinating commentary on time, past and future in people’s lives.  .

The photographs that were made with the  30 families  appeared in the public realm over the summer months. They were featured on billboards, banners, poster sites, hoardings and across the concourse of  Birmingham New Street Station. Besides exploring universal human themes, GENERATIONS offered an authentic portrayal of a diverse region, serving as both an invaluable historical record and a thought-provoking work of art.

Germain’s images reflect upon time itself – the past, present, and future – through their detailed representation of direct lines of genetic descent across four and five living generations. An ongoing exploration of the life cycle, the ageing process, human biology, and characteristics, the  project ponders on what individuals inherit through their genes versus as well as what comes from culture and surroundings.  .

For the commission, the artist  spent time with the families, delving into old family photographs, their history, and their lives, uncovering deeply personal and family histories.  GENERATIONS received generous support from Arts Council England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund and was displayed across the city and region via media partner, Jack Arts.  

(c) Thom Bartley for Jack Arts

(c) Thom Bartley for Jack Arts

GENERATIONS is generously supported by Arts Council England and National Heritage Lottery Fund.

Thanks to our Media Partner Jack Arts who have brought this to life for us across the city

Copyright 2016 GRAIN.