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Art, culture & creativity
30 Jun 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Whatever happened to Antony Gormley's Iron:Man in Victoria Square?

Iron:Man by Anthony Gormley was originally located in Victoria Square from 1993 until it was moved to storage in 2017. Originally named Untitled but nicknamed as Iron:Man. The TSB used to be in Victoria Square House and it was their gift to the City (until their HQ moved to Bristol). When will it return and where will it go?

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Whatever happened to Antony Gormley's Iron:Man in Victoria Square?





Iron:Man by Anthony Gormley was originally located in Victoria Square from 1993 until it was moved to storage in 2017. Originally named Untitled but nicknamed as Iron:Man. The TSB used to be in Victoria Square House and it was their gift to the City (until their HQ moved to Bristol). When will it return and where will it go?


Iron:Man by Antony Gormley

The statue of the Iron:Man used to be located in Victoria Square from March 1993 until it was removed to storage in September 2017, to make way for the Westside Metro extension to Centenary Square. While this extension opened in December 2019, Antony Gormley's Iron:Man has yet to return. As new paving was being laid in Victoria Square. And as far as I am aware, it is not yet finished (I've not been back to the City Centre in 3 months of lockdown, but have seen other peoples recent photos of the square).

It was originally a gift to the city from the TSB whose headquarters used to be in Victoria Square House. Unveiled in 1993. It was originally named Untitled but gained the nickname Iron:Man from locals. It is made of iron. The TSB moved out of Victoria Square House when they merged with Lloyds Bank in 1995.

The statue was cast at the Firth Rixon Castings in Willenhall. It represented the traditional skills of Birmingham and the Black Country.

The statue remained in place for many years, it was suggested that it be relocate to Bristol which was the new headquarters location of Lloyds TSB. But as it was a gift to the City of Birmingham it remained here. But it was removed to storage in September 2017 ahead of the building of the Westside Metro extension to Centenary Square (Grand Central Tram Stop to Library Tram Stop).

I would assume that it could return to Victoria Square later in 2020 if the paving is finished.

 

Iron:Man maquette at the Birmingham Museum Collection Centre

During my September 2018 visit to the Birmingham Museum Collection Centre, while I did not find the full sized Iron:Man, I did find this maquette.

This was Antony Gormley's preliminary model made out of painted plaster.

It apparently used to be located at the the Public Art Commissions Agency in the Jewellery Quarter, but for whatever reason, it ended up in storage here in the warehouse.

Iron:Man in Victoria Square until 2017

My first photo of the Iron:Man was taken during April 2009, when I started going around Birmingham with my camera. Here backed with the Town Hall.

The next view of the Iron:Man was taken during May 2009 facing Victoria Square House.

The Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market was on during November 2009, with this Iron:Man view. You can also see the old 103 Colmore Row AKA National Westminster House by the late John Madin.

The Iron:Man seen during May 2011. Union Jack bunting was up around Victoria Square near the Town Hall during the early May Bank Holiday weekend that followed the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (Aston Villa fan Prince William and Catherine Middleton).

It was Armed Forces Day in Victoria Square during June 2011. There was members of the British Armed Forces in uniform near the Iron:Man.

Including members of the Royal Air Force, Royal Navy and British Army. The Iron:Man had been in this slanted position since being installed back in 1993.

The snow of January 2013 as I headed past the Iron:Man towards Broad Street. Probably the only timed I've caught the Iron:Man covered in snow!

Back to Spring like weather in April 2013. And the Iron:Man was witness to the English Market at the St George's Day Celebrations that year.

The Iron:Man in September 2013 with a British Red Cross tent during the 4 Squares Weekender.

Caught a glimpse of the Iron:Man in Victoria Square during June 2014 when the Lord Mayors Show 2014 was being held. At the time there was some men doing bike tricks near the Council litter pickers!

Some of my last views of the Iron:Man. The view below taken in August 2017. A month before being removed to storage.

Last views in September 2017. A seagull was standing on Iron:Man's head. And left bird mess on top of it.

Pink Midland Metro Alliance barriers and fences had gone around the statue, as workmen were preparing to remove the statue and take it to storage. About a week after this it was gone.

Iron:Man had been in storage now for almost 3 years. When will he return? Where exactly in Victoria Square will he be placed? Perhaps in front of the Town Hall? Could he come back near the end of 2020?

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown. Thanks for all the followers.

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60 passion points
Modern Architecture
23 Jun 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Tour of the inside of the Library of Birmingham during September 2013

Welcome to a tour of the Library of Birmingham from my visits back in September 2013. My first visits were on the 21st and 28th September 2013. It was very busy. Loads of people visiting the library for the first time. Heading up the escalators between the levels. At the time the glass lift still worked, so you could go in that if it wasn't too busy. 9 levels plus the basement levels.

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Tour of the inside of the Library of Birmingham during September 2013





Welcome to a tour of the Library of Birmingham from my visits back in September 2013. My first visits were on the 21st and 28th September 2013. It was very busy. Loads of people visiting the library for the first time. Heading up the escalators between the levels. At the time the glass lift still worked, so you could go in that if it wasn't too busy. 9 levels plus the basement levels.


For this post we are only looking at the inside of the Library of Birmingham. So not the Shakespeare Memorial Room, Discovery Terrace or the Secret Garden (I'll leave those for future posts).

 

Originally the Library had revolving doors from Centenary Square (and also to the Discovery Terrace on Level 3). There is also a disabled door you can use by the press of a button. The revolving doors were replaced years later by automatic doors, as the revolving doors kept getting stuck. Also the glass lift from Level 4 to Level 7 stopped working after a year. Meaning you have to use the other lifts, or the stairs (if you can). There are escalators from Level G (the ground floor) to Level 3. Then a travelator up to Level 4. Access to Level 7 and 9 is by the lifts or stairs. Level 5 and Level 8 is for staff only. There is also the Library Cafe on the ground floor, and you can take you coffee up to the Mezzanine floor (also called Level MZ).

 

21st September 2013

Starting on the ground floor Level G, a look towards the entrance to the REP. On the left is the Library Shop. Where you can buy Birmingham souvenirs. I got in after 4pm that day.

The escalators from Level G to Level 1 was busy that day. On the left was a temporary exhibition, called The Pavilion

When it opened, Level 1 was originally called Business Learning & Health (this was before Brasshouse Languages took it over in 2016).

There used to be desks where you could work on your laptop or tablet on. WiFi early on was weak, but years later the free WiFi got better (well at least after I kept upgrading my smartphone every couple of years).

The escalators from Level 1 up to Level 2.

Next up was Level 2, which was originally called the Knowledge Floor. Around the core of this floor and the floor above is the Book Rotunda. There is a lot of old historic books around there.

Another area for studying and using your laptop or tablet with a view out to Centenary Square.

Now it was time to leave Level 2 for Level 3. Just had to go up the escalator to the next floor.

Now a look around Level 3, which was called the Discovery Floor at the time. This area was called the Mediatheque. Where you can watch films from a library collection (I think).

The Travelator that goes from Level 3 up to Level 4. That time it was set to go up on the right. Usually you go up on the left.

On the ride up, you can see the glass lift. And there was a queue for it waiting to go up to Level 7.

Level 4 was called Archives & Heritage. You can go through glass doors when you get to the top, or at the time use the glass lift (it wouldn't remain in service for long before it broke down - in fact it's not worked for years!).

I would have gone higher that day, but it was almost 5pm and that was the time that the Library of Birmingham closed for the evening. So heading back down the escalators through the Book Rotunda. At this point heading down from Level 3 to Level 2. Next up would be the escalator down to Level 1.

Heading down the escalator from Level 1 back to Level G, where you can see The Pavilion temporary exhibition on the right.

A look at the Children's Library which is on Level LG (Lower Ground Floor).

Back on Level G, and heading from the Library of Birmingham into the foyer of the REP.

28th September 2013

One week later, I returned to the Library of Birmingham to go all the way up to the top to Level 9 for the Shakespeare Memorial Room and Skyline Viewpoint. Got in much earlier this time, just before 1pm that day. This wall welcomes you to the Library of Birmingham. Was also a screen showing information about the exhibition on at the time called Dozens & Trails. This was on Level G.

This time I was able to get the glass lift up from Level 4 to Level 7.

Now on Level 7 after going up the glass lift. Here you can see the comfy red chairs in a staff only area of the Library. On Level 7 is the Secret Garden.

Views from Level 7 near the Glass Lift down to the floors below. You can see the travelator and the escalators down to about Level 2.

If you don't like heights don't look down! On this day the travelator was operating in the correct directions. Left side to take you down from Level 7 to 4. The right side to take you up from Level 4 to 7.

The escalators on Level 2 takes you to and from Level 1 (on the left) and to and from Level 3 (on the right).

There was also some comfy red chairs on Level 7. I used to sit on some of them on Level 3 to get onto the WiFi on my then smartphone.

On Level 7 you can see a staff office through the window from the corridor from the regular lifts and stairs. So you might see this if going to or from the Secret Garden (unless they have the blinds down).

That day I used the stairs to go down. Went a bit too far down to Level LG, and saw these desks with PC's on them. So had to go back up the stairs to Level G to exit.

That's it folks for this tour of the Library of Birmingham. It's changed a lot since it first opened 7 years ago.

For the next Library of Birmingham post, I could show you around the Shakespeare Memorial Room. It's on Level 9 near the Skyline Viewpoint.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown. Thanks for all the followers.

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70 passion points
Art, culture & creativity
22 Jun 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Rainbow doors around the Warley Woods

We went back to the Warley Woods on the 2nd June 2020 for a daily walk. This time a full walk around. While there, I noticed these painted doors at the bottom of trees all around the woods. Of course I didn't take all of them as there was too many to see. So here is a gallery of the ones that I did see. Painted by local children. Like those NHS rainbows in the windows of peoples homes.

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Rainbow doors around the Warley Woods





We went back to the Warley Woods on the 2nd June 2020 for a daily walk. This time a full walk around. While there, I noticed these painted doors at the bottom of trees all around the woods. Of course I didn't take all of them as there was too many to see. So here is a gallery of the ones that I did see. Painted by local children. Like those NHS rainbows in the windows of peoples homes.


If you go to the woods today your sure of a big surprise! (from the Teddy Bears Picnic).

No you wont find teddy bears in the Warley Woods, but you might find these painted doors around the woods. My walk on the 2nd June 2020 around the Warley Woods, and while there noticed these doors painted on wood by school children (at home). To help and thank the NHS & Key Workers.

Go find them out yourselves (if they are still there). There was more than just these ones (below). So take your kids out rainbow door hunting!

I might next cover the full walk around the Warley Woods from the beginning of June 2020 next. So watch this space!

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown. Thanks for all the followers.

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70 passion points
Art, culture & creativity
10 Jun 2020 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

NHS Angel by Luke Perry at Lightwoods Park

Recently had a chance to return to Lightwoods Park in Bearwood (in the car, not allowed to travel on the bus at the moment). And while on my walk I found Luke Perry's temporary NHS Angel sculpture. It is near Hagley Road West. It has a message "Thank You NHS & Care Workers". It is called Wings and Scrubs.

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NHS Angel by Luke Perry at Lightwoods Park





Recently had a chance to return to Lightwoods Park in Bearwood (in the car, not allowed to travel on the bus at the moment). And while on my walk I found Luke Perry's temporary NHS Angel sculpture. It is near Hagley Road West. It has a message "Thank You NHS & Care Workers". It is called Wings and Scrubs.


The Winged sculpture was unveiled early in May 2020. It was a tribute to the NHS and Care Workers 'angels' who have been treated people during the COVID-19 pandemic. Black Country sculptor Luke Perry created it using steel and other metals in his factory in Cradley Heath.

He worked with Sandwell Council and it was installed at Lightwoods Park near the Hagley Road West in Bearwood. It is a temporary installation called Wings and Scrubs. It has the inscription THANK YOU NHS & CARE WORKERS.

More details at the link above from Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council.

You can see it on your daily walk around Lightwoods Park and the Warley Woods.

Saw it myself on the 2nd June 2020.

I will do a proper Lightwoods Park post soon, from my various visits over the years from 2011 to 2020.

My post on Lightwoods House is here: The restoration of Lightwoods House in Lightwoods Park.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown. Thanks for all the followers.

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70 passion points
Art, culture & creativity
28 May 2020 - FreeTimePays
Inspiration

Lockdown Photography Competition with UB40

https://www.youtube.com/embed/j7LL-UQh9no

With so many entries, this competition with great support from UB40 has proved to be a huge success. Final entries need to be in by 31st May 2020.  So whatever has been your experience and greatest memory of the lockdown, send your photography via www.CreativesWeAre.com 

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