As part of the Spiceal Street Project, I was commissioned by Bullring to provide a public artwork to be displayed outside for six months at the centre of the Spiceal Street restaurant development. In preaparation for the project I spent a fascinating morning wandering around the area, talking to people I met and getting a feel for what the area meant to people. It wasn’t easy; wielding a clipboard appears to terrify people – I felt like a pariah for most of the day. Those who did stop and talk were interesting and engaging, and it is their photos and their words which form the piece.
As an observer walks along the street towards the piece, the impact of the ‘splash’ design dissolves and additional detail becomes apparent: the image is a composite of portraits of the people I met and spoke to.
Stepping closer, now standing a few metres away, the observer realises that the whole image composed of individual words and phrases: thoughts and views on the essence of the area. This work offers a simple symbolism: a literal face-to-face meeting with people who live in and around Birmingham, and a direct connection with their thoughts.