May 15th – I was pleased to note while in Birmingham that a piece of public art I thought had been lost from St. Chad’s Circus subway was still extant, and had been moved. The mosaic or whatever it is – it’s more like a veneer than anything, but it’s not wood – is of trains and transport and commemorates Snow Hill Station, which was closed (I think) at the time it was created.
The work used to be on the subway wall in one of the most horrid underpasses in the city centre. When the subterranean horror was infilled, I assumed the work had been lost, and forgot about it.
I noticed the work fronting the planters outside One, Snow Hill. I’m glad it was saved, it’s a little bit of the Birmingham I remember.
Just like the horrid pub in the subway, The Brown Derby. That was a shocker.
One artwork is still missing, though, and used to stand on the grass above street level on St. Chads; it was a metal, full size child’s swing, captured and welded in multiple stages of movement as if caught in stop motion photography. It was brilliant. Anyone know what happened to that?
May 19th – Junction 9 of the M6, and Wood Green, the area around it, is horrible. Heavy traffic, poor air quality, grime and an utterly inhuman, dystopian architecture all contribute to make this place awful. There is humanity here, and great buildings, in the backstreets. But in the immediate vicinity of the junction, there is little to credit this place, despite the fact that it hosts the River Tame, A major railway and a motorway side by side. The crowning glory of the inhuman design is the pedestrian underpass – dark, with 90 degree bends. Grey, filthy surfaces and forbidding outlooks that are dark and foreboding.
I hate this place with a passion.