After escaping a York Hostel takeover by snoring reprobates and sleep apnea sufferers, I arrived exhausted at my Airbnb. Just having my own space unencumbered by humans, revived my hopes and dreams. A cloudy recharge led me to a couple of sunny Birmingham days. My accommodations were near the Jewellery District of Birmingham which is the center for jewelry manufacture in Britain. This was also the case in the 19th. century.
The Birmingham School of Jewellery was founded in 1890 and has the distinction of being the largest jewellery school in Europe.
THE JEWELLERS ARMS
MUSEUM OF THE JEWELLERY QUARTER
This museum is a fully preserved jewellery manufactory.
Our guide utilizes a metal straw to introduce oxygen into the soldering process.
This is where the ladies worked at their jewellery finishing stations.
It was pretty repetitive and tedious work. There was a ninety-year-old woman was asked to retire only to get another job down the street.
RAW MATERIALS – GOLD, SILVER, COPPER, AND BRASS
THOMAS FATTORINI LIMITED – ESTABLISHED 1827
BIRMINGHAM IS ALSO KNOWN FOR ITS CANALS
BIRMINGHAM MUSEUM & ART GALLERY
Ana Marie PACHECHO – One Man and his Sheep – 1989
With onyx eyes and realistic teeth, all of these unsettling figures, including the formidable leader, look confused and afraid.
The piece explores the complex and strange rituals and power structures that humans create. Like much of Pachecho’s work, it encourages thought on the inter-relationship between humans and animals, leaders and followers, as well as our own contradictions.
Ana Marie PACHECHO – In Illo Tempore I – 1994
A young girl, a dramatically lit against a shadowy background of strange, masked figures, forms the unsettling focus of this work. Pachecho has drawn on her childhood memories of night-time religious street processions in a remote region of her native Brazil. Using mythical and contemporary imagery, she explores the often disturbing nature of human relationships.
Patrick HUGHES – SUPERDUPERSPECTIVE – 2002
Patrick Hughes creates three-dimensional paintings that seem flat when viewed from the front but appeared to shift and move as the viewer tilts their head. The illusion is created by reversing the normal rules of perspective. Hughes paints the areas of the painting physically closest to the viewer with the most distant part of the scene, and the brain tries to make sense of this challenge to its normal assumptions.
This painting was inspired by some of the most important works of art in Birmingham’s collection which are represented here in miniature.
Barbara HEPWORTH – The Cosdon Head – 1949
TOMMY, OZZY, GEEZER, & BILL
BLACK SABBATH T-SHIRTS
TOMMI AND OZZY
JAMES BRINDLEY WALK – This canalside walk in Birmingham is not to be missed.