Edited by Emma Bennett. UIT Cambridge. ISBN 9781912934256
The Birmingham Art Book is a tribute to a unique city whose visionary scientists and inventors made it famous as a manufacturing powerhouse. From heavy metal industry – here is where the first steam trains were built- to heavy metal music – Black Sabbath made their mark here, this is a place with a proud heritage.
Its handsome university is the original of the ‘Redbrick’ universities, founded by a farsighted mayor in 1900 as a civic place of learning, open to all, now with many world famous alumni and staff, 10 of whom have won Nobel prizes. Local artists convey the architectural glory of Victoria Square and the city centre Museum and Art Gallery (which holds a sumptuous collection of Pre-Raphaelite art).
In their drawings, they echo the modern vibrancy of buildings such as the iconic Selfridges department store and the REP theatre. Collages and sketches depict a city buzzing with vitality -from the world-renowned Hippodrome theatre, to the shopping centres and legendary nightlife that are national attractions.
Quirky nooks like the Jewellery Quarter, the Electric Cinema or the tranquil Botanic gardens hidden so close to the centre are reflected in this lovely book. The green city with 8000 acres of public parks and many miles of canal paths dating from its heyday in the Industrial Revolution is lovingly drawn and painted by its artists.
The Birmingham Art Book is where local artists shine a light on the grand and the humdrum with equal affection. Their love for the modern city is evident and their pride in its heritage comes to the fore in this lovely book