Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Birmingham Summer Highlights

Do you recognise this tunnel of crime? If you do you are either a police officer or a criminal because it links Steelhouse Lane police station with the courts on Corporation Street. Fred West himself has been taken down this corridor. So too were the Peaky Blinders.
Steelhouse Lane Police Station
In July we got to do a tour of the police station as part of the Hidden Spaces and West Midlands Police summer collaboration. The Victorian station which closed in January, is still full of character and a foreboding atmosphere.
These cell doors still automatically lock if you are silly enough to close one. They are very stark and I think that they would really rub in the sorry state of affairs you must be in to find yourself locked up in one.
Crime is no laughing matter my dear.
This photo is of Birmingham's first female police officers. Front centre is Evelyn Miles Brum's first ever police officer who joined in 1917.
Criminals were better dressed in the past I'd say. Although I think the bottom line of his profile states that he was a pimp.
The shackles on the centre of the table are horrible things to hold. They reminded me of the Green Mile. "Dog tired boss, dog tired". There was no sign of Mr Jangles though.
The evolution of police hats and radios. Torches in the centre.

Badego Creative Cafe 
Katy Tromans and LOWLFE
Katy Tromans wowed everyone with her storytelling jewellery ranges that include How To Train Your Dragon, James and the Giant Peach and Rapunzel.
Katy is a CAD designer and it was amazing to hear that the designs will be transformed into wax prototypes by computer rather than by hand. It can take around 37 hours to print so do beat her to the printer queue.

Toothless looking spectacular.
How To Train Your Dragon ring
I really liked how she thought of a creative way to store jewellery rather than shoving it in a box or tray.
Rapunzel ring holder
Next up was Tam Bernard and Key Powell of LOWLFE. They are humble and self-deprecating but seriously talented.
They use small figures in an extremely clever way to get you to think about important issues such as homelessness, the environment, political figures and overuse and reliance on technology.
Part of their inspiration is fun movies such as Honey I Shrunk the Kids.

The Venus flytrap acting in self-defence against human encroachment.
Punk attitude to combat the Trump.
Bees are so important to the ecosystem. We must solve this question.

Pop into Bar Opus to see the free exhibition.

Igers Birmingham Summer Social
Beth Astington and Fraser McGee
Its been a fantastic year already for Birmingham's Instagramers aka Igers Birmingham. The summer social at the Edwardian Tea Rooms at Birmingham Museum heralded the announcement of the Best in Birmingham exhibition.
The exhibition, to be held in the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter will feature the best 25 Instagram photos of Birmingham using the hashtag #igb_comp_bestofbirmingham
You have until the 20th August to enter images that celebrate Brum's heritage, people and landscape.

The Big Sleuth
Peabody Bear in St Paul's Square
These beautiful bears raising money for Birmingham Children's Hospital are only around until the 17th September so you better cherish them whilst they are here. One of my favourites is Peabody Bear. Wonderfully designed and surrounded by lavender in St Paul's Square.
Cool dude Harley bear is by the church too.
Dr Bear Brawn is super sweet by the Children's Hospital.
Remember Florence Nighting Owl from the Big Hoot?
Quite the drop off point.
The Guardian of St Martin church by the Bullring.
Bearmingam Bear features Birmingham's coat of arms in his design.
He says a little prayer for you.
Ewok Bear by Thinktank.
Busting makes me feel good in John Bright Street.
William Shakesbear is by the Apple shop on New Street.
Such a deep-thinking bear.
It would be illogical to leave out Spock in Chamber Square.
Don't forget BMAG's Little Bears guarding Lucifer in the Round Room.
Little cuties.
Some cool stuff in the gift shop.

Birmingham Cathedral
How many people cut through pigeon park on Colmore row without realising the beauty inside Birmingham Cathedral?
It's a spiritual baroque masterpiece.
At 300 years old it's one of the oldest buildings in Birmingham.
It's deservedly famous for the stunning stained-glass windows by Edward Burne-Jones.

Stunning colours.
They have a summer film festival. Great choices.

We found a few gems in the RBSA gallery by St Paul's Square. Check this orangutan's lovely lashes!
Glenn Ibbitson's Emerald Archer and Horus the Magician retail at £3,400 if your walls need a talking point.
Ah huh you know what it is. 
Everything y'all you know I do it big. 
Green and yellow, green and yellow.

Words and photos by Paul Clarke
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