In 2011, Birmingham Royal Ballet invited 27 designers to create original peices of A3 printed artwork based upon the story of Coppélia. They did not necessarily have to use ballet imagery, but we did ask for a reference to the Company somehow.

The collection was unveiled at a launch event in one of our own studios, as well as online at, where it can still be viewed.

Following the deservedly fantastic reponse that the project received, we are delighted to confirm that we are returning to the concept, this time for Hobson’s Choice!

The artists – a mixture of new and returning collaborators – are currently working on the pieces, with previews appearing in the blog section of the Pointe Blank website.

As last time, the project is being overseen by independent Curator, Claire Hartley, and Birmingham Royal Ballet’s New Media Officer, Rob Lindsay.

The new collection will be launched on the evening of 20 February 2012, at the start of a week of performances of Hobson’s Choice at Birmingham Hippodrome.

Rob explained the choice of the ballet as a subject for Pointe Blank:

‘While it was important to present a fresh challenge, we were both equally determined to maintain the principal concept from the first project – a story-inspired brief that was otherwise as non-prescriptive as possible.

‘As with Coppélia, it’s a story that’s been around for a while, but which isn’t burdened with any iconic, or clichéd, imagery. It goes against the ballet stereotype – there are no tutus, and no fairies. It’s set in a shoe shop in Salford in 1880, which is a period of some brilliantly evocative imagery, but also of vast leaps in industry and technology. So potentially the advances in photography and printing methods may prove an additional inspiration to those taking part.’

Claire explained further:

‘We’ve both been quite hesitant to base one of these projects around a story that’s been done before. That was something that made the first project really fresh, it meant the artists really could spin off in any direction.’

Click here for artwork previews so far, and for further information about Pointe Blank.