Sutton Coldfield is abuzz today with people asking if this piece of graffiti is a genuine Banksy, and others saying “don’t be fucking stupid why would he do that on the back of the Bank of Cyprus?” and yet others saying “You what love? Graffiti? I don’t hold with that sort of thing” and then banging on about when Birmingham took over in the 1970s. Banksy is a street artist known for producing politically provocative pieces in a distinctive style that can be easily reproduced. If this is a Banksy piece, just what does he mean by the image of a peace dove flying towards a small child playing volleyball? Is it a comment on Sutton’s struggles for independence, like when he did a bit in Palestine? How well do you know your Banksy from your pranksy? In our super picture quiz we ask how well you know street …

Picture Quiz No. 2: I don’t know if it’s a Banksy but I like it Read more »

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Flushed with the success of our 101 Things Birmingham Gave the World Kickstarter, for which we thank you all, we’re thinking of expanding into other types of merchandise. Impressed by Anna Burles’s Literary London Map, we’ve taken stock of all of our city’s artistic heritage and produced our own.   “A fine art print map of the borders of Birmingham featuring characters from art based in Birmingham. The famous and infamous. And also the less well known. Those with an amazing moniker or brilliantly conceived nickname who are a credit to their creator. Each character has been plotted in the corners of the city they most liked to roam or chose to call home (sometimes on Her Majesty’s Pleasure). Combining hand-drawn typography and illustration, the posters are available now, framed for £29, unframed for £13 (both + P&P).” See it in all it’s glory:

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  Artist Bill Drummond defaced a UKIP billboard. He isn’t the only one to do this but his intervention has been the most widely reported. The billboard that Mr Drummond worked on is just around the corner from Eastside Projects, where he has been staging a month-long artist’s residency. The painting over the poster was one of his artworks. UKIP’s West Midlands spokesman Bill Etheridge called this “mindless vandalism” as well as making a formal complaint to the police. In fact this was a very mindful act, as the artist explained eloquently well before Mr. Etheridge made his comments. Drummond’s statement has been widely disseminated and it provides a clear and thoughtful rationale for the work; this was not, therefore, a “mindless” act. For a performance artist to be described in these terms is potentially harmful to their ability to work especially when this has been reported …

Help Bill Drummond sue UKIP Read more »

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We mentioned the Type Tours before, but I couldn’t pass up a chance of a private mini-tour for myself: Ben Waddington is one of those people who wants others to appreciate their surroundings. An exiled Manc, he’s been running tours of some kind round Brum for a couple of years – I went on Ben’s tour themed around John Baskerville last year, and was impressed with his research and amiable guiding if not our city’s treatment of Baskerville’s legacy. If we must have a new library (when the current one works, no matter how you consider it looks) then it should feature some tribute – it will be on Baskerville’s old land after all. As part of the Plus International Design Festival, Ben is running his Baskerville Tour again – as well as ‘Type Tours’ of Digbeth and the city centre. A man who knows Brum well …

Signs of the times Read more »

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