My photographic assignment for my 52 week Flickr group was to photograph Graffiti. This gave me the excuse to visit Digbeth on a bright Sunday morning. My first stop was Meriden Street to look at the graffiti done by the streetartist Gent48 on the house which is the home of independent grassroots music venue Suki10C.
They have recently upgraded the Graffiti on the outside of the building to celebrate 22 of Birmingham’s most prominent black stars of the future. It is eye-catching and a fitting tribute to such inspiring people. Readers of my blog will know that Digbeth is a favourite place of mine and there is a constant change of the Graffiti. This blog shows the old colour scheme of the Suki10C house
The next stop was Floodgate street and there are many examples of street art along the road. First there was the Big Birmingham Bake and another Gent 48 mural. Having photographed several murals, I wandering in through the link-way between Floodgate street and the Custard Factory where the walls are lined with several good street art paintings.
The centre of the Custard Factory offers many photographic opportunities and the fun on this visit was the presence of several puddles from the overnight rain. I enjoy puddle photography and my iPhone gave a nice picture which did well on social media. The picture follows the golden proportion which must be a subconscious bias in my mind from my dentistry photography days.
Walking around the custard factory is always interesting and I enjoyed seeing the tables in the courtyard. Each of the wooden tables was engraved with the history of the Birds Eye Custard Factory. Getting old means I remember many of the advertising material on the packets of Bird’s Custard! There was also a lone statue of Jesus Christ looking out of the corner of a shop. His appealing mournful face striking a chord on this quiet Sunday morning. He is missing his right hand which gives a pose of vulnerability yet it still seeks your attention from his expression and stance.
Moving onto the adjacent carpark there is new graffiti street art by Snub23. The entrance to the car park is very different and is made of several crushed cars giving an American feel to the area. Just inside the entrance opposite to the Snub23 artwork is a new outside bar with an open door to no where!
Whilst I did enjoy waking through Digbeth, there was still one picture that I wanted to take. It was the Fox by Annatomix. Whilst I had done this picture before on the Minerva Works side of the water, I had not done it from across the canal, looking onto the Fox. Known as the Warwick Bar, this part of the canal has echos of Birmingham’s industrial past and indications of the potential changes that may happen when HS2 finally arrives.
I was nervous about the photography here as it is a very quiet part of the canal and I was carrying expensive camera equipment. I did not want to be mugged this Sunday morning. However there are a succession of runners and cyclists that gave a feeling of sfety and I headed along the towpath past the Bond premises (!) to be directly opposite the Fox. I took several pictures and was happy that I had captured this view which is an alternative to the one I had taken before. I also learnt that the monochrome to the right of the Fox is by Lucy McLaughlan. All done and so it was back home to do the processing and write up this blog.
There are several good internet links on the Digbeth Street Art Scene
(all accessed July 2020)
1. How Digbeth gave a home to graffiti and street art – BBC News
2. Graffiti art of Digbeth Walk – WalkRunCycle
3. Graffiti Artist
4. The Street Art of Digbeth in Birmingham
plus my own previous blogs on Digbeth
a. Lockdown in Digbeth
b. Digbeth Lights
c. Graffiti, Graffiti, Graffiti
d. My Custard Factory Beat
But be warned the art changes quickly and many of these murals are “tagged” ruining the artwork or they have simply been painted over.
Artists featured – Instagram address
Holy Moly UK
If there are any corrections on the names of artists or names missing then please let me know and I will add to the blog.