It seems only a few short years ago Birmingham was commonly hailed as an industrial toilet, and yet suddenly we are now City of Culture.
I breezed into our fair city Sunday afternoon to enjoy it’s ‘cultural delights’, and will drop the sarcasm from my tone from here on in
I only jest, it’s become a really lovely city of recent years – we have the Bullring shopping centre with I’m sorry to be a philistine, but one of the greatest things ever to come to the city; the ground floor of Selfridge’s, of course just turn a blind eye to ‘award winning’ architecture of the Bullring, our new monolith of a library, apparently the biggest in Europe (I’m impressed), and today I visited the very swanky Ikon Gallery, my second visit.
More about my day in our City of Culture …
Below is my photo of our new library shown below. In all it’s glorious multi-storey ‘wedding cake’ (come on, it looks like a cake) glory. Unfinished as of yet but due to open in September 2013, costing 188 million to build, creating 250 jobs in the city, and the largest library in Europe.
After taking some shots of the library I toodled over to the Ikon Gallery, which is just a short walk from the library. It’s been ages since I visited it and I do love their book shop. The art I saw while there was ‘interesting’ :S The most interesting being that of Timur Novikov. I’m not really seeing his vision in the slightest, but here are some photos of his works.
What I DID find quite interesting, was how he’d made a film short of some of his works (watch my recording below). As I stood filming it, I felt distinctly as though I was in art noir movie.
Yeah. So that’s delightfully weird isn’t it?
Then I went into the Ikon Gallery bookshop and drooled at loads of books and took a photo of this awesome wrapping paper! Bowie!
Just before going to listen to some live bands play in the evening to finish up my day, one of my companions suggested that we go and check out the long empty Munipical Bank building, which apparently shut down as a bank in 1998 and has been empty since. It was across the road, so we all said, what the heck.
Quite interesting in there actually, and definitely a perfect set for a horror movie, with it’s stone walled main hall, creepy long corridors below ground and banking vaults. Here are some photos for you.
One of the things I liked the most about the old bank was the inspirational quotes dotted around the architecture. “Thrift radiates happiness” on the ceiling here.
Horror movie creepy vault room …
I absolutely adore the way what appears to be squatters perhaps, decided to spray paint their own inspirational quote. It is an extract from a Yeats poem called The Second Coming.
Indeed it was easily the most compelling thing I saw today in our city of culture. “The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity”. It leads you to wonder what that poem means to them personally.
Some more vaults …
More quotes. All work places should have these in my opinion.