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Tag Archives: BBC Midlands

HiVis Festival, Digbeth, 2022

The HiVis festival this year was at the Tea Works on Canal street. The wide open setting allowed for a range of Graffiti artists to ply their trade on the surrounding walls. I went to the festival with my family on the Saturday afternoon.

The graffiti painters were in good form as well, with many ready to chat with you and let you know what they were painting. All the walls were in action and several artists were already working when we arrived. Seeing Annatomix painting was a bonus. The family were keen to get back to the shops and I only discovered her working on her scorpion design on the way out. There were many different art works on display but due to timing, most of them were works in progress. I will go back later in the week to check out the finished artwork. Stay tuned. The queues for the children’s graffiti painting were slow moving and we did not get a chance for the grandchildren to try out some painting. There was just a high demand in that area and we will be ready for next year.

We loved the skate boarding and the energy around the place. The skate boarders were excellent and there was the opportunity to get up close and see them in action. There was a gap which the skaters jumped over before turning around on the ramp. All the skaters negotiated the RedBull Road gap successfully and there was also a rail to skate along as well. The boarders are very skilful and also fun to photograph.The HiVis event is organised by Graffiti Artist and I am already looking forward to the next event in 2023.

If you want to see my report on the HiVis festival 2021 then please take a look. All of my Birmingham Graffiti posts are popular and I love to support the artists’ work and the HiVis festival.

HiVis Festival, Digbeth, 2022
Welcome
PoliNations,Birmingham, September 2022

A readymade garden in the middle of Birmingham really caught the imagination of the public.  PoliNations was not like any other garden and there was huge anticipation on what to expect. We were promised lots more activity during the B2022 Fesitval surrounding the Birmingham Commonwealth games. This display was stunning and also so different to what had gone before in the festival.  PoliNations is difficult to sum up in a few words.  I will try to describe the scene but I am aware that the gardens brought out many different experiences from those who went.

PoliNations,Birmingham, September 2022
Reflections in the Garden

To put it simply, Victoria square was transformed into a garden.  The paving stones, concrete, and other parts of the square were covered with grass and flowers. There were 5 manmade trees with large umbrella like canopies.  These trees were 40 ft high and towered above the landscape with the trunks covered with a colourful pattern.  At ground level, there were walkways through a garden of plants.  Access was by several entrances which lead to different zones.   Iconic plants such as apple, fern, roses and tulips were featured.  Other parts which were called Fringe, Sunny or Temperature zones had flowers to match the theme.  The map shown provides a key to the different areas.  The sensory garden had many different variety of flowers all based on those you would normally find in the City.  I visited twice once while it was raining and the second time when the sun shone. I enjoyed all the textures, interaction with people and the use of mirrors on the public seating.  

There was a full programme of events including music, dance and theatre which were held on either the large stage or the many smaller places through out the installation.  I was not able to attend these shows but my visits during the day gave me a flavour of the place. PoliNations was magical but quirky, natural but also unreal.  The diversity of the place was displayed in the range of flowers, the colours on offer and the people passing through. The place eventually caught up with you and made you sit down and take in the uniqueness of everything.  

PoliNations,Birmingham, September 2022
Taking Time Out

PoliNations was a photographers delight and there were many different views of the place with pictures taken with my camera.  There were many other stunning pictures taken using drones but I am a simple foot on the ground photographer and this is my interpretation of the place. A simple search on Instagram shows the variety of pictures that were taken. Please enjoy my pictures of my visit to PoliNations which serve as a memory of an extra-ordinary visit.

PoliNations,Birmingham, September 2022
Map of PoliNations

More pictures to view of PoliNations in the rain and the sun.

PoliNations,Birmingham, September 2022
Rain does not stop people from enjoying the gardens.
PoliNations,Birmingham, September 2022
Take it slow
PoliNations,Birmingham, September 2022
Relax
PoliNations,Birmingham, September 2022
Take it easy
PoliNations,Birmingham, September 2022
Have fun
PoliNations,Birmingham, September 2022
Great interactions either live or virtual
PoliNations,Birmingham, September 2022
PolNations
PoliNations,Birmingham, September 2022
The Floosie in the Jacuzzi and PoliNations

24 Hours Project, Knowle and Birmingham, 10th September 2022

Taking part in the @24hoursproject did challenge me in my photography.  I learnt about it from a fellow photographer who also happened to be the UK ambassador for the project.  When Anu told me about the project then I just had to get involved.  After registering and donating to the designated charity, I got ready for the day.  The charity chosen by the 24 hour team was supporting the work of Yonton Te which means “heart of the tree”. The donations will go to a local community in Chapas Mexico and the website provides more information on this worthwhile cause.

24 Hours Project, Knowle and Birmingham, 10th September 2022
Hours 1 to 4

The theme of the 24 hours was to document the general human condition with emotions of love, humour, sadness, joy, fulfilment, pain, loneliness).  As you will see from my photographs, I strayed away from the brief.  This was not my intention but I was so focussed on getting a picture done once an hour that I forgot about the theme. Reviewing the photo feed of the project, many people went into their local cities, whilst I decided to base my 24 hours around my life at home.  You will see that my first 8 hours evolved around sleeping and my breakfast. Also there were not many people stirring in Knowle village early on a Saturday morning.

24 Hours Project, Knowle and Birmingham, 10th September 2022
Hours 5 to 8

At 10:00 am I went into Birmingham.  By chance, my train driver was Yo Naysan, a fellow photographer. As the train pulled in he stuck his head out of the driver’s window and said hello. On arriving into Birmingham, I met up with Anu and her partner Kate and wandered around the city.  I photographed the PoliNations display in Victoria Square, the Library of Birmingham, Gas Street Basin and the University of Birmingham, Exchange.  There were people queuing for the book of remembrance for the Queen.

24 Hours Project, Knowle and Birmingham, 10th September 2022
Hours 9 to 12
24 Hours Project, Knowle and Birmingham, 10th September 2022
Hours 13 to 16

Many of these are linked to tackling climate change and foolishly I did not take pictures of people. However in my outtakes I did and you will see many of these were fun pictures.  Driving back home I pondered my contribution to the 24 hour project and took several pictures in the village at night.  To recap, the main aim for this project was to experience 24 hours of pictures and see if I was able to complete the task. I succeeded in this task next year will be able to tackle the project in a different way as I know what to expect.

24 Hours Project, Knowle and Birmingham, 10th September 2022
Hours 17 to 20
24 Hours Project, Knowle and Birmingham, 10th September 2022
Hours 21 to 24

And just for fun here are my outtakes of the day.


Starry Night, Swinmoor House, Herefordshire, 2022

Living near Birmingham, any night sky photography is severely limited due to light pollution.  During lockdown there was the chance to undertake star trail photography and I featured this in a previous article on my website “Stars in the Sky”.

In 2022, our family holiday was deep in the Herefordshire countryside at Swinmoor House, Madley.  We were blessed with several clear nights with little cloud cover.  I had never seen so many stars up above for a long time.  Such clear nights were a great opportunity to get back into taking pictures of the stars.  I use the StarWalk2 app which has a virtual view of the night sky.  

Setting up the camera on a sturdy tripod, I am considering 3 settings.  For the aperture, I wish to get as much light as possible, so I set my camera at f/2.8.  For the shutter speed, I need a long exposure and 25 seconds is selected.  Any longer and I would start creating star trails which would show the stars as lines. I will come back to this later.  To allow sufficient sensitivity, I set the ISO at 800.  My camera is a Canon D5 mark IV and the lens is a Canon EF16-35mm f/4L.  The wide angled lens captures a broad viewpoint which is useful when featuring the sky in the photograph.

Firstly, I do a few test shots with the ISO set at 32,000 to provide viewable pictures of the scene and allow me to compose the picture with a strong foreground object which in this case was Swinmoor House.  Also, I turned off as many lights in the house as possible but balanced the need for some to provide a focal point for the picture.

Starry Night, Swinmoor House, Herefordshire, 2022
The Ursa Major Constallation in the night sky.

The first picture is of Ursa Major which was very bright and identifiable in the sky.  It is also nicely framed by the surrounding trees and the house.  The second picture was the night sky looking out over the Sagittarius star cloud better known as the Milky Way.  Unfortunately, there was some cloud cover and light pollution in this direction.  However, you can make out the milky way in the picture. These were the best pictures I could get during the week of the Milky Way due to cloud cover.

Starry Night, Swinmoor House, Herefordshire, 2022
The Sagittarius Star Cloud seen from the Garden.

Editing was done on the RAW files correcting the lens profile, adding contrast and bringing out the shadows.  Next I reduced the highlights and took the strong house lights down.  The Ursa Major stars were bright and I helped a bit with some dodging.  Finally I produced good pictures of the night sky.

Two nights later there was another clear sky and this gave me the opportunity to have a go at star trails.  The camera set up and composition was as before although this time the exposure was increased to 30 seconds.  The Canon camera has a built in intervalometer which I set at 1 second.  Therefore, the camera shutter would be open for 30 seconds, shut, quickly process for a second before opening again. This continuous cycle was possible as I had a fast SD card in the camera for the processing of the pictures. Once I was happy everything was working properly, I left the camera to take the pictures.  I was very tired and started at 10.30 and eventually after a few rounds of pool in the games room, switched the camera off at approximately 11.45.  I am sure I could have gone for a longer time period but it would have meant leaving an expensive camera unattended during the night.  The next morning, I collected all the jpg pictures (124 of them) into one folder.  I downloaded the StarStaX freeware software and pasted the pictures into the program.  I clicked a button and watched in amazement as the stacking software created the picture.  There were a few edits required to remove stray light and the picture was cropped to provide a pleasing result.  

Starry Night, Swinmoor House, Herefordshire, 2022
Creation of star trails above Swinmoor House, Madley, Herefordshire.

The resulting picture looked great.  A couple of satellite trails had crept into the picture and add some nice diagonals. I wish I had not gone to the bathroom during the picture taking as the light from that particular room is very bright.  Another wish is to have taken more pictures to get stronger lines for the star trails.  Then again, the pattern created is very eye-catching with a strong foreground image of the house setting off the trails nicely.  You can see Polaris the North star plus a couple of satellite paths moving diagonally across the picture. What is helpful is the large number of stars as they provide a denser number of star trail circles compared to my previous attempt.


Key to the City Brum, Fierce Festival, 2022, Touchwood

After two abortive attempts to get to Touchwood, one at the wrong time and the other at the right time but too near the stores opening time, I arrived at the ideal time.  Midnight is when the centre allowed #keytothecitybrum holders to enter the shopping centre. As you can imagine, this is not an easy time for most people and as I walked down a dimly lit alleyway in Solihull next to McDonalds, I started to get second thoughts.  

Key to the City Brum, Fierce Festival, 2022, Touchwood
In a dark dark street….

The after-hours entrance is not a solubrious placeI as I walked down to the gates and pressed the intercom.  A voice kindly welcomed me, but I had to wait while they did their evening checks around the centre.  After 10 minutes I was admitted.  In the meantime, two other key holders had arrived.  It was dark foreboding alley, and I was apprehensive as they approached but then reassured when I saw their blue boxes holding the key. 

Key to the City Brum, Fierce Festival, 2022, Touchwood
Out of hours entrance to Touchwood

Once inside the main shopping hall, the security people took us to the information kiosk.  The key opened a locked box on the desk.  Inside were sachets of Cadbury’s drinking chocolate which the security team used to make mugs of drinking chocolate for their visitors.  We were then allowed to wander around the deserted shopping centre with our cups in hand.  It was a surreal experience.  

All the shops looked like there were in stasis just waiting for the people to arrive.  The area around the cinema was interesting without people around.  I think it was the lack of voices and general noise that made the centre feel so different.  I loved the Polestar car showroom where all the cars had their headlamps full on.  The Apple shop did not have queue outside it but of course it was not open!  The restaurants had the chairs upturned ready for cleaning.  I spent a good 45 minutes looking around, taking selfies, and looking around the empty shops.  Time then to go home and get to bed after my late night visit!

Key to the City Brum, Fierce Festival, 2022, Touchwood
No Queues at the Apple Shop LOL
Key to the City Brum, Fierce Festival, 2022, Touchwood
Night time driving in an empty shopping centre
Key to the City Brum, Fierce Festival, 2022, Touchwood
No noisy working machines
Key to the City Brum, Fierce Festival, 2022, Touchwood
Cineworld is empty!
Key to the City Brum, Fierce Festival, 2022, Touchwood
The selfie had to be done.

My Journey with the Key
If you wish to review my journey then I have published all my visits on my blog as follows.


Key to the City Brum, Fierce Festival, 2022, 103 Colmore Row

By far the most popular venue for the #keyofthecitybrum was Birmingham’s newly built skyscraper, 103 Colmore row. On the 18th floor, there is a south facing viewing platform that provides amazing views of the City’s major buildings.  When the Key started, Instagram was inundated with pictures of the City of Birmingham from this platform.  Many of these pictures were excellent and circulated by the social media team at 103 Colmore Row.  I left my visit to the building till late July and wondered how I could do a different picture from the platform.

Arriving in the foyer of the building with Nicky Warwickshire, my photo companion for the day @nickywarwikshire, we were met by Touwa, one of the volunteers for the Key to the City Brum.  Touwa welcomed us to 103 Colmore Row, Birmingham, England. He explained that the newly built building was a 108-metre tall 26-storey commercial office skyscraper.  We were going to the 19th Floor and above this floor is the soon to be opened restaurant on the 24th floor. We were not going to the viewing platform but to a floor that provides a 360o view.  The floor was empty, and I was able to get pictures of buildings such as the BT tower and the Rotunda.  I even did a panorama to take in the skyscrapers.  It was also possible to capture views of the people visiting who were fascinated with the views.

Key to the City Brum, Fierce Festival, 2022, 103 Colmore Row
Admiring the view
Key to the City Brum, Fierce Festival, 2022, 103 Colmore Row
Panorama of the City

My different picture?  I got down low and framed the top of the BT tower in the frame of the windows.  I was pleased as I had got a different view which still conveys the sense of height above the city.

Key to the City Brum, Fierce Festival, 2022, 103 Colmore Row
A different view of the BT Tower
Key to the City Brum, Fierce Festival, 2022, 103 Colmore Row
My picture on BBC Midlands Today

Finally a few more pictures showing the colours of the City for the Commonwealth Games taken from the 19th floor of 103 Colmore Row.

Key to the City Brum, Fierce Festival, 2022, 103 Colmore Row
Looking over the City and beyond. What can you see?
Key to the City Brum, Fierce Festival, 2022, 103 Colmore Row
Colours on the pillars.
Key to the City Brum, Fierce Festival, 2022, 103 Colmore Row
The view with everyone’s favourite the BT Tower.

My Journey with the Key
If you wish to review my journey then I have published all my visits on my blog as follows.


Key to the City Brum, Fierce Festival, 2022, Lapworth Museum

Northfield Community Garden

The 61 and 63 buses routes are ones I know well as I use them to visit the dental school at Pebble Mill. I don’t often stay on the bus but for the keys of the City Brum, I carried on and headed down to Northfield.   The final bus stop was only a short walk from the Northfield Community Garden.  There were large iron gates which were locked by the heavy but majestic Yale lock.  The gates had to be pushed open and then I entered.  

Key to the City Brum, Fierce Festival, 2022, Northfield Community Garden
The gates to the garden with lock
Key to the City Brum, Fierce Festival, 2022, Northfield Community Garden
Welcome to the garden

There was a lovely welcome sign, and a garden-decorated tractor was also there to greet you.  The garden, next to a busy road, is a mixture of different influences.  My first thought is that the plants needed a good watering, but one could not overlook the enthusiasm that the gardeners have for the place.  There are several car tyres used to good effect providing places for the growing plants.  There were some welcome benches where one could sit down and take in the area.  In one way it was chaotic, but this was also its charm.  

Key to the City Brum, Fierce Festival, 2022, Northfield Community Garden
Colourful display
Key to the City Brum, Fierce Festival, 2022, Northfield Community Garden
Colourful tyres
Key to the City Brum, Fierce Festival, 2022, Northfield Community Garden
Colourful chairs
Key to the City Brum, Fierce Festival, 2022, Northfield Community Garden
Colourful Garden Shed

As the garden sits next to the busy Longbridge bypass, there is a dull noise of traffic in the background.  Over time this noise recedes, and it is possible to relax, reflect and take in the surroundings.   I loved the garden shed which was a colourful metal container painted with several colourful designs.  Overall, a pleasant place to visit and wander around.

Lapworth Museum

I took the 61 bus back up the Bristol road and jumped off for the University.  This #keyofthecitybrum was home territory for me as my visit was to the Lapworth Museum which is part of the University of Birmingham.  The museum has won several local awards and been nominated for national awards.  Geology is the theme, and this is highlighted by the magnificent Rock wall which reaches up to the ceiling.  The display cabinets have many drawers to pull out with each one revealing different parts of the collection The large number of windows make the museum a delight and the light streaming through is a feature of the place.  

Key to the City Brum, Fierce Festival, 2022, Lapworth Museum
Lovely designs

But the centrepiece is a large dinosaur which is centre piece to the main museum room.  Rory the Allosaurus is a commanding skeleton, and he is also the key to finding the lock as described in the instructions.  Finding the lock could have been a challenge but I was ready for something hidden having already been to Acocks Green Cemetery.  I found the lock in the cabinets opposite to Rory and inside there was a fascinating display of various rocks and fossils.  The pictures of the colours from the rocks is shown in the pictures. This treasure hunt for the key was rewarded with a lovely display.  Very well done.

Key to the City Brum, Fierce Festival, 2022, Lapworth Museum
Rory shows the way

My Journey with the Key
If you wish to review my journey then I have published all my visits on my blog as follows.


Key to the City Brum, Fierce Festival, 2022, Green Lane Mosque

This venue like all the others was unique and the #keytothecitybrum takes you to places that you would never normally visit. Green Lane Mosque is in Small Health Birmingham not far from the Birmingham City Football ground. It is an easy venue to find and parking in the supermarket car park, I made my way over to the Mosque. It once was a swimming pool and the red brick architecture stands out against the modern supermarket buildings.

Key to the City Brum, Fierce Festival, 2022, Green Lane Mosque
Anna who was one of the #keytotheciotybrum visitors

This is Anna who is a Key to the City participant, and I met her whilst I was waiting to enter Green Lane Mosque in Small Heath Birmingham.  She was with her friend Myrtle who I met previously when I went to pick up my Key at New Street station.  Anna picked up my Manchester accent.  These days I forget about my life in Bolton and Manchester and even though I have lived in Birmingham since 1985, my original accent still comes through.  Anna is from Birmingham but left during her teenage years and then returned.  She is dressed up modestly with long hem and scarf for her visit to the mosque.  We are by door G for key holders.  We found that the electronic key did not work, and we chatted as we went around to the main office.  I also learnt that Anna had lived in North Wales as well.  

Key to the City Brum, Fierce Festival, 2022, Green Lane Mosque
Salim the centre manager greets us and explains the day to day activities in the Mosque

Salim, the centre manager for Green Lane Mosque, met us and introduced himself. He explained that the full name is Green Lane Masjid and community.  As a Key to the City holder, we are invited to observe the Dhuhr (noon) prayer. The exact time of prayer changes each day, so I checked the time on the website and found it was 1.30pm.  I arrived 15 minutes before prayer time and Salim greeted myself and the other Keyholders.  He was very patient with us and explained what would be happening at prayer time and then showed us to our viewing area.  Once prayers had finished, he gave us a tour of the mosque. 

Key to the City Brum, Fierce Festival, 2022, Green Lane Mosque
Dhuhr (noon) prayer and the observer room.

 The history of the building was fascinating as it was once a public swimming bath.  I put some pictures of my visit up on Facebook and one of my friends came back saying she remembered her swimming lessons at Green Lane.  We were shown different parts of the mosque including the library, the activity area and the area leading to the tower.  At the end of the visit, we were given a bag with a copy of the Koran in English, a keyring, and some chocolates.  Overall Salim and the community extended wonderful hospitality to us and I left with some wonderful memories.

Dhuhr (noon) prayer.
The half round metal surrounds were part of the design of the swimming baths.
Dhuhr (noon) prayer.
The black and white brings out the architecture of the building.
Key to the City Brum, Fierce Festival, 2022, Green Lane Mosque
Shoes off
Key to the City Brum, Fierce Festival, 2022, Green Lane Mosque
View of the Mosque

Key to the City Brum, Fierce Festival, 2022, Green Lane Mosque
Salim with the incense burner

My Journey with the Key
If you wish to review my journey then I have published all my visits on my blog as follows.


Key to the City Brum, Fierce Festival, 2022, Hall Green Library

The following visits were quiet and enabled me to reflect on my journey around Birmingham with my #keytothecitybrum. Two different venues but each allowing a key holder to stop, pause and take in life.

Robin Hood Cemetery

Key to the City Brum, Fierce Festival, 2022, Acocks Green Cemetery
Approach to Lavender walk
Key to the City Brum, Fierce Festival, 2022, Acocks Green Cemetery
Opening the vault.

The key took me to Robin Hood Cemetery near Hall Green, a place I have visited several times previously saying my respects to good friends who have passed away.  This time it was for the #keyofthecityBrum project.  The place was relatively quiet as when a large funeral is access is difficult with the number of cars around.  When I arrived, there was a funeral in process and I kept discreetly in the background.  Passing the main buildings, I made my way to the pergola over a path called Lavender walk.  Here the overground vaults were laid out along the walk.  The key opens one of these vaults.  There were no signs or indications of where this would be.  After 5 minutes I looked up a photographic colleague, Elliot Brown who had already discovered the vault.  Reading his account, I realised which vault I should focus on.  Immediately I saw that there was one vault which was slightly different to the rest and had a lock on the front.  My key opened the vault and inside there were drawings, ceramic pins, and other objects.  There was a lovely poem about the sea and a few other notes.  An interesting find that makes one pause and reflect.

Key to the City Brum, Fierce Festival, 2022, Acocks Green Cemetery
Mementoes left in the vault
Key to the City Brum, Fierce Festival, 2022, Acocks Green Cemetery
A poem about the sea.
Key to the City Brum, Fierce Festival, 2022, Acocks Green Cemetery
The Lavender walk

Hall Green library

All the public libraries in Birmingham were participating in the #keyofthecityBrum project.  You just needed to visit one of the listed libraries to access a lock.  

Key to the City Brum, Fierce Festival, 2022, Hall Green Library
Entrance to Hall Green Library

As it turned out Hall Green library is not far from Robin Hood Cemetery.  I arrived just after lunchtime as the Birmingham libraries close for an hour and reopen at 2pm.  The place was busy, but the librarian showed me the metal box which was padlocked.  My key opened the lock allowing me to access a red book.  Opening this book, I found that I was asked to write down a list of my experiences of visiting the various places in the #keytothecityBrum.  The book was brand new, and the librarian informed me that I was the first person to visit Hall Green Library and ask to see the box.  I wrote down my entry replaced the book and  locked the padlock.  I left thanking the librarians.  Outside I took several pictures.  My thoughts outside included asking how libraries are surviving in the present era of digital changes. This library may look a little dated on the outside, but it was very much part of the community judging by the number of people who were using it.

Key to the City Brum, Fierce Festival, 2022, Hall Green Library
The safe box in the Library
Key to the City Brum, Fierce Festival, 2022, Hall Green Library
Retrieving the book out of the safe.
Key to the City Brum, Fierce Festival, 2022, Hall Green Library
My reflections.

My Journey with the Key
If you wish to review my journey then I have published all my visits on my blog as follows.


Key to the City Brum, Fierce Festival, 2022, Blyden's Garden

My next two venues for #keytothecitybrum were close to each other and both were intriguing. They took me to a part of Birmingham that I have rarely visited. There has been no reason or links to visit the area and I have only passed through on the dual carriage way onto Perry Barr. I was about to find out that I had missed some hidden gems.

The Blyden’s Garden

This was a delightful place to visit.  A private garden in the middle of Birmingham.  When the #keystothecitybrum were released, this place was the most intriguing.  A small plot of land was going to be shared with the larger Birmingham community.  I did not know what to expect and headed out to the garden.  Finding Brooklyn Avenue, I went along to the end of the cul-de-sac and located the road that went behind house 63.  The place did not look inviting and one of the houses on the street had a stack of rubbish on the front lawn.  I turned the corner and at first did not register anything except an open gate.  As I took in my surroundings, I saw a shocking pink door with a welcome sign.  

Key to the City Brum, Fierce Festival, 2022, Blyden's Garden
The pink door to the garden

This was nothing like the picture in the booklet.  My key fitted the lock.  The door needed a good pull as it opened towards me and once inside I discovered a quiet oasis.  The place was set out with herb plants including strawberries.  There were motivational words hung up on the surrounding fences.  There was a large bench where you could sit down and survey your surroundings.  

Key to the City Brum, Fierce Festival, 2022, Blyden's Garden
Motivation signs
Key to the City Brum, Fierce Festival, 2022, Blyden's Garden
A corner of the garden
Key to the City Brum, Fierce Festival, 2022, Blyden's Garden
Plant pots hanging on the fence

A blackboard was set up near to the door and someone had written in chalk a question of the day.  

“If you could go back in time and meet you 10-year-old self. What advice would you give yourself?” 

Key to the City Brum, Fierce Festival, 2022, Blyden's Garden
My advice to myself from @dammodammo

I am not sure that my answer was profound enough for the board, but it was fun to participate.  I took a few pictures and then sat down.  I took some time out to reflect and soak in the ambiance of the garden.  Then I took some pictures and before long (around 10 minutes later), I decided it was time to move onto the next venue on my #keytothecitybrum quest.

Key to the City Brum, Fierce Festival, 2022, Blyden's Garden
Reflecting on my time in the Blyden’s Garden
Key to the City Brum, Fierce Festival, 2022, Blyden's Garden
My friends for the day

Thank you to the Daniel and Rebecca Blyden for making this happen.  A lovely experience and one to treasure. I found this link about their garden and gives more insight into their vision

Key to the City Brum, Fierce Festival, 2022, Blyden's Garden
Leaving the garden and onto the Legacy Centre.

Legacy Centre of Excellence

The Legacy Centre of Excellence is on Potters Lane, Birmingham.  Upon arrival, I was made welcome by Sarah who showed me what my key unlocked in the building.  The room I entered had pictures made from card cut-outs on the wall.  These were drawn by Dr Martin Glynn, lecturer in Criminology at Birmingham City University.  The collection of pictures was called “Moments and Memories” and were inspired by the Covid19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdown.  

Key to the City Brum, Fierce Festival, 2022, the Legacy Centre
Moments and Memories
Key to the City Brum, Fierce Festival, 2022, the Legacy Centre
The cut outs were striking and very visual.

Dr Glynn investigated the themes of reflection and during this journey also wished to immerse his audience into his work.  Dr Glynn’s pictures resonated with my own reflections.  I have done a series of articles of life during and after the pandemic.  In a similar way, I have been on a part of Dr Glynn’s journey.  His cut-outs provided very powerful imagery.

Key to the City Brum, Fierce Festival, 2022, the Legacy Centre
The face echoes moments from the pandemic.
Key to the City Brum, Fierce Festival, 2022, the Legacy Centre
More of Dr Glynn’s pictures

Sarah gave me details of the Legacy centre and showed me the main stage that was set up for a B2022 Commonwealth Games Community Engagement event: A journey through Windrush.  Sarah agreed to having her picture taken and I discovered that she is an artist in her own right and examples of her work are on her Instagram site @whitecanaryillustration.  Another fascinating place on my Journey with the Key.

Negotiating the City

My Journey with the Key
If you wish to review my journey then I have published all my visits on my blog as follows.

Link to the Legacy Centre

https://legacycoe.co.uk


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