From Summerfield to Paradise

Three new artworks by Claire Cotterill as part of the Community Routes project (left to right).

Find out more about each work below.
– Brum Through a Lens
– Little-Known Ladywood
– Revealing the Reservoir

New commissions always open up a captivating world of people, places and stories and Community Routes – a project I am extremely proud to be involved with – is no exception. 

This new a collection of artworks was specifically created to capture the essence of three walks created during the project. They were co-created with local people and partners, and inspired me to view our beautiful city through new eyes, I hope they do the same for you too.

An important part of the creative process was to ensure the involvement of the local community in the midst of the pandemic. We achieved this by producing collage kits, the results of which you can hear about in this display. The kits enabled local people to participate in the project and enjoy some creative relief during lockdown.

We were also able to enjoy the walks with community members who shared their knowledge and love for the places we visited and it was these meetings that inspired the artwork you see here today.

It seemed obvious then, that collage should be the chosen medium to create these artworks. Using digital, creative media with an analogue approach, I then integrated the community contributions including collage, historical and contemporary heritage photography.

The artworks aim to capture the essence of these places and the changes they go through with the passage of time. Celebrating the old and new, uncovering new elements of the city and embracing the feelings they evoke.

From the beautiful, inner city sanctum and natural environment of the Rezza, to the lively  streets of Birmingham, the artworks celebrate some of Birmingham’s significant characters in history as well as its striking architecture and public art. We hope the walks and artwork inspire and inform you to see your city differently!

Claire Cotterill is a multi-disciplinary artist based in Birmingham.

Credit and Acknowledgements for use of Imagery/Claire Cotterill

I’d like to thank the following people for their permission
to use imagery  within the artwork and for sharing their knowledge to inspire, in no particular order…

All Collage Kit participants, in particular, Carol Booth-Davis, Eva Bennett, Vivienne Hew(Wilson), Elizabeth Naylor, Corinne Bateman, Zhara Simms, Jan/Xandraart, Ruth Carless, Martyn Hood, Imandeep Kaur, Nuray Önoglu.

Birmingham City Library Archives, Birmingham Mail, Canal and River Trust Archive at Ellsemere Port, Norman Bartlam, Mac Joseph, Matthew @arthurlloyd.co.uk, Jez Collins/Birmingham Music Archives, Temper, Paul Maxfield, Gillian Wearing, John.H.Hearfield, Peter Phillips, Jas Sani, Mike Olley, West Midlands Photography Collective, Sarah Allen, Jim Benwell, Birmingham Collage Collective (in particular Tom Tebby, Fiona Cullinan, Adam Wynn) Iris Bertz/Berz Associates, Friends of Edgbaston Reservoir,  Artscoop Central, Alan Birch, Midlands Sailing Club, Dawn Carr, Black Heritage Walks Network, Garry Stewartm, EatMakePlay.