Reference Works was devised as a major new photography commission in which four leading photographers made unique creative responses to the old Central Library building and to the build, transition and relocation to the new Library of Birmingham. Launched in April 2012 the commissions were awarded to Brian Griffin, Michael Collins, Andrew Lacon and Stuart Whipps. Alongside the main commissions a mentoring and professional development programme was delivered in collaboration with Birmingham City University.
The commission was established to reflect and record a momentous event in the city’s cultural history, the project, supported by Arts Council England, represented the largest and most significant photography commission ever undertaken in Birmingham.
In September 2013 four exhibitions were curated as part of the Reference Works commission, including a major new show in The Gallery at the new Library of Birmingham, complimented by a series of events and artists’ talks.