Brum Through a Lens

A guide to this photography inspired artwork from artist, Claire Cotterill.

Find and listen to the accompanying audio tour below.

A small section of collage art work taken from Brum through a Lens by Claire Cotterill

This artwork is inspired by West Midland Photography Collective’s city photo walk, and aims to talk you on a visual journey along their route.
Beginning at the Roundhouse, the artwork takes us along the inner-city canals before taking a different turn through Gas Street Basin; towards stunning old and new inner city architecture.
We can see hidden treasures along the way such as the Holliday Street Aqueduct, the oldest bridge in the city centre, also hosting the oldest iron streetlights.

We then cross Lover’s Bridge heading to The Cube and see Temper’s ‘The Lovely People’, who continue the journey with us!

The stunning architecture of the Cube designed by Ken Shuttleworth, is a treat to see from the inside too and not to be missed.

Moving down towards the Mailbox, once Birmingham’s main Royal Mail sorting office,  we can view more stunning architecture along the way and public art features to enjoy such as the lamp by Lucy Holmes and ‘Untitled Sculpture’ by Lee Grandjean.

The Brutalist signal box is a must see along the way and a striking example of Brutalist architecture.

Past the back of New St station, we head through Piccadilly Arcade, looking up again, we see the impressive ceiling mural of artist Paul Maxfield, another fantastic photo opportunity!

A small section of collage art work taken from Brum through a Lens by Claire Cotterill

Walking up New Street, look carefully to see some often-missed art deco architecture, before heading to Victoria Square, one of Birmingham’s oldest quarters with stunning architecture all around and more public artworks, such as Dhruva Mistry’s ‘The River’, locally known as ‘Floozie in the Jacuzzi’ and Anthony Gormley’s’ Iron Man’ (although not in place, at time of writing).

From here we can take in the magnificent Town Hall, it’s been a venue for events and live music for hundreds of years and Charles Dicken’s chose it to give his first public reading of an exert of ‘A Christmas Carol’ as he had a huge soft spot for Birmingham and its people. A remarkable building amongst many here that have survived the test of time, a good place to stop and pause for a rest and soak up the atmosphere. Through Chamberlain square and into Centenary square, there’s more architecture and art, old and new to delight and back down to the canals we go to finish our loop of this fascinating part of our city.

You may pass the Prince of Wales pub, standing on its own on the way, the elephant featured in the work is inspired by a story about Chipperfield’s circus at Bingley Hall.

When the circus took their animals for their daily exercise, an elephant caught sight of its own reflection and charged the window, much to the shock of those sitting having a quiet lunchtime pint!

There are so many photographic opportunities along the way here, water reflections, shapes, patterns and form within historical and contemporary architecture and artworks. You’ll be inspired to discover more about Birmingham’s history and people, who have contributed to our city’s historical and contemporary heritage.


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