Birmingham Revisited

I used to be slightly scared of Birmingham. It seemed dark to me, haunted by memories of a 1970s childhood view from afar, punctuated by sombre news clips and vast, sprawling networks of railways and motorways. My first visit was basically a five minute stop at the coach station in the early 80s, watching an obese coach driver stretch his frame and yawn. I watched the city through glass. Crumbling tower blocks of concrete and pale blue cladding, the whiff of egg salad sandwich and milky coffee from a seat in front. I returned to visit a friend in the mid 90s and saw the city only at night on the way to his home, after a fleeting visit to a gay pub that smelled of bleach and early evening depression. We had chips in a restaurant and I felt lost in this strange retro place of orange neon and drizzle. I returned last week, for a mini break and I would not have recognised it as a place I had been before. It was gleaming and new, the sun and buzz energising me into long 1000 calorie walks. I was struck by the gorgeous Victorian architecture, triggered by the nostalgia of derelict post-war buildings and seduced by retail. The city reminded me of Hull a bit, the same red brick versus post-war ratio, the same pockets of dereliction and bold new builds. I took over 400 photos and am in the process of producing a series of works over the summer. Here are my first two. All my works are for sale and I undertake commissions of buildings, which make ideal gifts. Like me on Facebook for the latest works. Contact me on golan22may@googlemail for a quote. Follow me on twitter at @artistofhull.  DSC_0411DSC_0001


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