Revealing the Reservoir

A guide to an artwork inspired by Edgbaston Reservoir, from artist Claire Cotterill.

Find and listen to the accompanying audio tour below.

A small section of a collage artwork, 'Revealing the Reservoir' by Claire Cotterill

I’m not sure if you’ve visited Edgbaston Reservoir before, but if you haven’t, you’re in for a treat! Known locally as ‘The Rezza’, this beautiful inner city sanctuary is steeped in history.

The artwork I’ve created attempts to capture the spirit of the Rezza, not only its unique history, but its value in contemporary times. The artwork incorporates the collage work of local residents and weaves in the unique heritage and contemporary photography gathered through archival research.

Originally a small roach pool in Rotton Park, it was extensively enlarged by Thomas Telford between 1824 and 1829 to supply water for the Birmingham canals.

It’s home to Midlands Sailing Club and Rowing Club, and was also home to the renowned ‘Tower Ballroom’, once a thriving Birmingham venue that has now been demolished.

A small section the collage artwork 'Revealing the Reservoir' by Claire Cotterill which references the history of the reservoir such as the Tower Ballroom's programme of events, Blackpool Week at the rezza, and the views and reflections across the water.

This iconic meeting place opened in 1933 and played host to live bands of local and international repute, as well as roller-skating, boxing, wrestling and a lot more (listen to the audio tour for more!) and the venue is fondly remembered as a place you could meet your sweetheart or even your future spouse!

The Rezza is still much loved by local residents as well as those further afield, who enjoy moments of calm and tranquillity within its unique urban environment.

Here, people can soak up the stunning views, enjoy the sunsets and relax alongside the birdlife and nature around them.

This place is home to runners, cyclists, dog walkers and people of all ages meandering on the beaches that are revealed when the water is low. You might even find some gardeners who give time to lovingly maintain the orchard that was planted by local residents.

So take a trip over to The Rezza, and find the audio tour in this display and via the link above.


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