Walls and Water: Brindleyplace – 2011

Funded by Birmingham City Council

On a wintry weekend in February 2011, Secret City Arts invited the people of Birmingham to explore, discover, remember and imagine the canals and the built environment at Brindleyplace – past, present and future.

During our three-day project, over 300 people took part – local residents, workers and visitors, aged from 2-80.

Together we created an animation, wrote and recorded memories, stories and creative responses to this fascinating old-new part of Birmingham.

The project was funded by Birmingham City Council’s arts programme, and we were grateful for support from Brindleyplace, ICC and Ikon Gallery.

Here’s a taste of what we uncovered: our city in microcosm, and some of the diverse and secret stories it contains.

RIBBON STORIES AND COLLECTIVE WRITING

Mandy asked people to write on ribbons about what they were doing in town that day. They tied their intriguing and sometimes poignant¬† ‘ribbon stories’ onto the bridge over the canal.

Lots of people contributed a line or two to make this collective poem about the canals past and present: Still water, still here, our ribbon of history…

LIVING STORIES

Pyn invited workers, tourists and other visitors to step into the light-circle to record their stories and memories of the canals. Listen here to one of the stories – of living on a canal boat

ANIMATION

In a marquee outside Ikon Gallery, Claire was inviting people to contribute to an animation film inspired by the films of Len Lye, then on show in the gallery. Watch the animation here.

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