Road Works puts art on the meter

By on 14/06/2010 in Culture, News

Pay and display will take on a whole new meaning in Birmingham today as five city centre parking spaces are transformed into temporary art exhibitions.

Showcasing artistic talent from across the city, ROAD WORKS will see five on-street car-parking bays converted into cultural spaces, for one day only.

The ROAD WORKS project on Monday June 14, which comes just 48 hours before Birmingham's final pitch to be the UK's first ever City of Culture, is the city's contribution to worldwide art project International  PARK(ing) Day.

Each of the spaces will have a different theme (see details below) and organisers believe the project will showcase Birmingham's wealth of artistic and creative talent.

Chairman of the Birmingham Cultural Partnership Cllr Martin Mullaney said: “Throughout the UK City of Culture bidding process I've been struck by the extraordinary levels of creativity across the city.

“Birmingham is a great place to live and work for artists and the grassroots talent out there is phenomenal.

“International PARK(ing) Day is an exciting worldwide initiative and the ROAD WORKS project will not only allow us to showcase our creative community, it will put a smile on people's faces by offering an unexpected cultural experience.”

Launched in 2005, International PARK(ing) Day is now a global event where citizens and artists successfully collaborate to transform parking spaces into temporary 'public cultural spaces'.

It now involves 140 cities, such as Brisbane, Vancouver, Rome, Krakow, Barcelona, Brighton, Rio de Janeiro, Austin Texas.

Birmingham's five spaces will showcase a range of activities that appeal to different audiences, such as engagement activities, art installations, public spectacle or leisure spaces.

Located in close proximity to Victoria Square, St Phillips Cathedral (Colmore Row) and Waterloo Street the ROADWORKS will feature:

  • 1, 2, 3, A, B, C
    Not My Type
    Charlotte Audrey and Jonny Costello have brought together some of Birmingham's best designers, illustrators and urban artists under the Not My Type banner. Here some of their different styles, disciplines and collective talents are put to work creating brand new typographical artworks. All of this takes place in front of your eyes in their specially constructed garden, amongst the gnomes, pens and grass.
  • Human, All Too Human (Sets and the City)
    Nathaniel Pitt and Various Artist

    This is an urban 'wildlife' spotter's hide, made to observe activity in Victoria Square. Fitted with periscopes and binoculars, members of the public will be able to view some of the animal characters who are appearing nearby. You may spot an owl with a pushchair, a cat traffic warden or a badger with a briefcase, all going about their daily lives.
  • Digger's Revival
    Uddin and Elsey

    These artists are inspired by the actions of The Diggers of 1649 who began to grow vegetables on common land, but were driven off the land by the State. In the environment they have created here, amongst the pallets and the grow bags, is a painted replica of Van Gogh's Potato Planters. This edible, urban garden has been created to illustrate both the historic and political nature of food growing.
  • Camera Obscura
    Arlene Burnett

    An everyday garden shed has been transformed into a magical Camera Obscura. This light-proof shed acts as a 'walk in camera', where images of the surrounding
    civic Architecture are projected onto its interior surfaces. Early Camera Obscuras comprised a whole darkened room or a tent, later portable models became available and these were extensively used by artists while on their travels
  • An Incidental Estate
    Trevor Pitt with Carolyn Morton

    Plants have been borrowed from back gardens, council estates and parks across Birmingham to create a suburban garden in the heart of the city. The artists are on hand to give guided tours of The Estate, which features locally grown plants, Soft Bench and The Estate flag (made by artist Kate Pemberton). Visitors are invited to craft a personalised buttonhole as a memento of the day.

ROAD WORKS has been curated by Rob Colbourne, Rob Hewitt and Alex Johnson.


For further information contact Geoff Coleman on 0121 303 3501

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