Published on 02/02/16

Livery Street Wall Art Project

In 2013, Colmore BID completed an art project to enhance Livery Street Wall, situated in a location regarded as a gateway to Birmingham’s commercial quarter.

The project formed part of the public realm improvement scheme, delivered by Colmore BID to enhance the commercial quarter, delivered in partnership with Network Rail and Highcross.

The Livery Street Wall is situated at the entrance to Livery Street by the junction with Great Charles Street Queensway and is located by a key entry point to the car park at Snow Hill station. It is also on the route of buses serving the city and for employees walking into the business district from the Jewellery Quarter.

Previously a dull concrete structure, the wall now displays the vibrant design of local artist and designer George Benson. George was commissioned by Colmore BID, following a public art competition inviting submissions that provided an exciting, contemporary and dynamic artwork to transform the look of the wall.

George has exhibited work in London and New York as an artist and has worked as a designer for over 15 years for clients including The New Art Gallery Walsall and Birmingham Opera Company. Commenting on the project, George said: “It was an amazing opportunity to have the chance to create something beautiful for Birmingham’s street scene – to add life, interest and intrigue to a structure within the city and to produce something that has long term impact and isn’t just a temporary installation.

“My design creates a window to another place that is part real world and part abstract. It is influenced by cityscape views that can be captured through trees in surrounding countryside. The idea is based on bringing a sense of nature and escapism into a fast moving city, something people can look into and something that can accompany and engage them as they pass by.”

The Livery Street Wall project is one of a host of improvements in the business district that have been delivered by Colmore BID. The project has been led by Colmore BID board director, Sarah Skurr, who is also the building manager for Canmoor and Livery Place which overlooks the wall.

“Colmore BID is determined to improve the public spaces in the District to enhance the area for all to enjoy,” commented Sarah. “As well as delivering short-term environmental improvements such as the deep cleansing of streets and seasonal decorations, we are also committed to making improvements with long term impact.”

She added, “We are delighted with George’s work, which has transformed Livery Street Wall to create a fresh and vibrant access point to the city’s business district. The intriguing artwork has brightened up this location, made it more inviting and we hope the visual improvement will deter any anti-social behaviour.”

Livery Street Wall is owned by Network Rail, which has worked in partnership with Colmore BID and Highcross, to enable the delivery of the art project.

Steve Irvin, property services manager at Network Rail said: “As well as being responsible for Britain’s rail infrastructure, Network Rail also owns large amounts of property across the country, including much in urban areas. In Birmingham we have already worked with local artists to brighten up an area close to New Street station and so we’re delighted to be able to work with Colmore BID to improve the environment around Snow Hill.”