Colmore Art Walk
Welcome to Colmore BID’s Art Walk! Prepare to embark on a journey that will open your eyes to the vibrant world of art nestled within the Colmore BID area.
Art is all around us and this trail aims to direct you to some of the great art that exists around the Colmore Bid area. It’s a short trail that we hope will make you see the area in a different light! Our aims are for the art trail to grow in future years to include Birmingham Artists exhibiting in the ground floor windows across the district. But for this year let’s walk!
1: Iron:Man, Victoria Square
Created by Anthony Gormley and cast at Firth Rixon Castings (formerly Bradley and Fosters Castings) in Willenhall this statue was a gift from Trustee Savings Bank to the city. Standing solidly at the edge of the square Iron:Man has moved slightly from the original spot to make way for the tram line. Always tilting his feet are sunk into the concrete, making sure that the angle always remains the same.
2: Thomas Attwood
Let’s keep the bronze theme and move along to Chamberlain Square, right behind the Town Hall.
The Chamberlain Memorial fountain takes centre stage but there is a man of letters relaxing on the steps.
It’s Thomas Attwood with papers spread and if you look closely his soap box. This collaborative piece of art, originally called Birmingham Man, was designed by sculptor Siobhan Coppinger with lettering by Fiona Peever. Take a look around the sculpture and find the words Reform, The Vote and Prosperity which were words close to Thomas Attwood’s heart.
3: Birmingham School of Art
Not so much a piece of art but a whole building dedicated to it! Designed by J R Chamberlain it is considered his masterpiece although it was not completed until after his death. Take some time to look at the fantastic carvings and tiles. No expense was spared and it cost £21,254 to build in 1884. One thing to note about this building is that it was built using donations from Louisa Ryland. Take a look at the history of this fabulous woman philanthropist who, over her lifetime, donated approximately £180,000 to this city – the equivalent of over £140,000,000 today. The origins of the School of Art lie with The Royal Society of Birmingham artists who are still around today, you can find their gallery in the Jewellery Quarter just off St Paul’s Square.
4: Birmingham and Midland Institute
This is where art and science meet. Another fantastic building that served to introduce scientific and technical education to Birmingham. Founded in 1854 and built in Jacobean style, take a look at the beautiful details and maybe step inside and see what is still a thriving society today.
5: Colley Ison
Art and discussion can be had at this fantastic gallery. In August you will be able to see work by Annette Pugh, Reuben Colley, Andy Warhol and more. If you are visiting before mid-August then you will be able to see work by Danny Howes and Roxana Halls, both of whom have been on our television screens lately.
Is nature art? Well there’s certainly a lot of nature in art. Colmore Row is a tree lined boulevard in the centre of the city. Half way down there is a tree that was planted in 2000, it’s grown pretty tall since then! This tree adds to the streetscape and brings nature right into our hearts.
7: Globe on Church Street
Sitting outside is great for us all. The large globe like sculpture on Church Street provides a space for relaxing and also meeting. The sculpture is called Umbra and was created by Wolfgang Buttress. It’s a site specific installation funded by Colmore Bid and Birmingham City Council.
8: St Philip’s Cathedral
Whilst this cathedral may be small in stature the stained glass windows were designed by an artist you may well know. Edward Burne-Jones was born in Birmingham and whilst at Oxford formed a life-long friendship with William Morris. Their influence on the Arts and Craft Movement and how this translated into buildings, furnishings and art is a real artistic highlight in the history of the city. Look at some of the motifs in the windows and see if you can spot them in some of the other buildings around the Colmore Bid district. Not sure how long the scaffolding will be up? If is still there in August would like to add that the street art around the window reflects the glory within.
9: White Wall Gallery
Need to get a take on their thoughts about art in the district and what they will be showing
10: Livery Street Mural
Commissioned by Colmore Bid this fantastic mural by The Window Artists Edward Luke Thrush and Anna Davies. There are lots of Birmingham landmarks and history to be spotted on this 60ft wide mural.
11: Snow Hill Mural
Designed by Oliver Budd, the mosaic depicts all things train but also has a few little surprises. Look closely and you will see some of the occupants of the carriages are more famous than you think!