The Handsworth Park Arts Trail

This page is to recognise all of the art installed in the park over the years, but also gives you details of the Arts Trails organised in the 2010's to bring art into the park.

We have helped to organise two Arts Trails in the park as a friends group. The first, in 2015, produced multiple works of art on a temporary basis. Of them, the Bird Boxes and The Anchor are still located in the park but in different positions to their original locations. The second Arts Trail in 2017 produced two, permanent pieces on either side of the park. Read below to find out more.

The Lord Mayor Cllr Ray Hassall opened the Handsworth Park Arts Trail on Tuesday 14th July 2015. Several temporary works were installed, of which the Bird Boxes remain in the Boating Lake Island and The Anchor was restored and retained as part of the Community Garden.

The Second Arts Trail was launched on Friday 6th October 2017, again opened by the Lord Mayor Cllr Anne Underwood.

6 pieces of art will be commissioned over 3 years for this trail, starting with the two installed in 2017.

Roots and Branches

Roots and Branches

Roots and Branches

Roots and Branches

Unveiled mid 2020

Sons of Rest Mosaic

Sons of Rest Mosaic

Sons of Rest Mosaic

Sons of Rest Mosaic

Information board for this artwork in the park.

Sons of Rest Mosaic

Sons of Rest Mosaic

Handsworth Revolution Mural

Handsworth Revolution Mural

As part of the BASS Festival 2018 and National Album Day 2018, a mural of the front cover of Handsworth Reggae Legends' debut album Handsworth Revolution was unveiled to mark 40 years since its release. On Saturday October 13th 2018, original members of the band Mykaell Riley and Basil Gabbidon, as well as photographer Vanley Burke, spoke at a ceremony to an audience in the wellbeing centre about the cultural importance of the album.

The Plinth

The Plinth

Artwork on the plinth from 2017-19 are being curated by Scylla Magda for the Handsworth Park Arts Trail. In the picture you can see the following works: Grass Mosaic -- a permanent mosaic on the sides of the plinth, designed by Scylla Magda & created in workshops with Crafting Community. Winter Snowman created by Scylla Magda in workshops with local children.

The 2017 Artists with Hector

The 2017 Artists with Hector

L-R Luke Perry (SS Journey artist), Hector Pinkney (SS Journey subject) and Pauline Bailey (The Pyramid Tower artist).

SS Journey

SS Journey

Information board for this artwork in the park.

The Unveiling

The Unveiling

SS Journey is unveiled on the launch day.

Popular Event

Popular Event

For a Friday afternoon, the launch event drew a decent crowd.

SS Journey

SS Journey

Looking out on the lake.

SS Journey

SS Journey

The 2017 Artists

The 2017 Artists

Luke Perry and Pauline Bailey under the Pyramid Tower.

Pyramid Tower

Pyramid Tower

Pyramid Tower

Pyramid Tower

Information board for this artwork in the park.

Pyramid Tower

Pyramid Tower

The view from inside the tower.

Sun Guardian Bear

Sun Guardian Bear

Created by Mat Barber, this was kept in the park as part of the Handsworth Park Arts Trail in 2017. It went off to the auction for a short while, but has been standing guard over the Community Garden ever since.

Bear and Artist

Bear and Artist

Sun Guardian Bear with artist Mat Barber.

Well Active Bear

Well Active Bear

The other bear in the park, Well Active Bear also returned after the auction and can be found outside the Wellbeing Centre. This picture is from the launch event at Edgbaston Cricket Ground.

Well Active Bear

Well Active Bear

Pictured in front of the Wellbeing Centre, where it can now be found.

Big Sleuth workshops

Big Sleuth workshops

The Friends of Handsworth Park arranged two summer workshops led by artist Mat Barber in 2017. Children using the park were invited to create their own Big Sleuth designs to influence the final piece.

Launch of the Arts Trail in 2015.

Launch of the Arts Trail in 2015.

The Handsworth Park Owl

The Handsworth Park Owl

The Handsworth Park Owl and the Pussycat was designed by local artist Scylla Magda. It was organised as part of the Arts Trail in 2015.

The Handsworth Park Owl

The Handsworth Park Owl

The rear design of the owl. The Handsworth Park Owl and the Pussycat was designed by local artist Scylla Magda. It was organised as part of the Arts Trail in 2015.

Sign from the Handsworth Park Owl

Sign from the Handsworth Park Owl

From the 2015 Arts Trail. Was bought at auction and no longer in the park.

The Handsworth Park Owl at night

The Handsworth Park Owl at night

From the 2015 Arts Trail. The Owl was painted in UV paint by Scylla Magda, especially so it would shine at night.

Bird Boxes

Bird Boxes

Birdhouses of many shapes, sizes and designs were created along with local schools and placed in the trees around the lake as part of the Arts Trail in 2015. They are now housed in the island in the middle of the Boating Lake.

Bird Boxes

Bird Boxes

Birdhouses of many shapes, sizes and designs were created along with local schools and placed in the trees around the lake as part of the Arts Trail in 2015. They are now housed in the island in the middle of the Boating Lake.

Bird Boxes

Bird Boxes

Birdhouses of many shapes, sizes and designs were created along with local schools and placed in the trees around the lake as part of the Arts Trail in 2015. They are now housed in the island in the middle of the Boating Lake.

The Anchor

The Anchor

On the launch day in 2015.

The Anchor

The Anchor

After only a few days on the trail, The Anchor was vandalised, having the outside ripped open and the contents thrown into the lake. Kindly, Lee Southall, the Parks Manager for Birmingham City Council, took the piece away and repaired it. Now it is beginning a new lease of life in the Community Garden on the other side of the park, carefully watched over by the Sun Guardian bear.

Wassifa Showcase Boat

Wassifa Showcase Boat

From the 2015 Arts Trail. No longer in the park.

Sails

Sails

With the Boathouse in the background.

Sails

Sails

Carved Feather Tree Trunk Seat

Carved Feather Tree Trunk Seat

Graham Jones at work on his piece for the 2015 Arts Trail.

Grass Mosaic

Grass Mosaic

Grass Mosaic has been designed by Scylla Magda (pictured) with the aim of ‘beautifying’ the concrete plinth which was left behind after the Big Hoot Owl flew away in 2015. Grasses and leaves found around the lake were used as inspiration for the design, in order to create an artwork that looks natural and organic, enabling the plinth to blend in with its surroundings.

Sunflower

Sunflower

After the owl had departed, the plinth it had stood on was left behind. Among a number of temporary art pieces to be displayed upon it was this Mosaic Sunflower, created by Scylla Magda in workshops with members of the local community, as a part of her year long project Handsworth Revolutions - Celebrating The Cycle of The Seasons in 2016. It is now hung permanently on the side of the Boathouse Cafe.

Cosmic Egg

Cosmic Egg

Another part of the seasons project, a willow egg, representing Spring, designed by Ildiko Nagy & created in workshops with the local community, is displayed on the lakeside plinth.

Cosmic Egg

Cosmic Egg

‘Handsworth Revolutions’ was devised by local artist and curator Scylla Magda as a year long program of seasonal related activities & craft workshops. These included the making of a spring egg sculpture , a summer sunflower mosaic, autumn leafcraft and winter tree dressing. In addition there were two ’all about trees’ nature walks with the rangers, a sonic mapping of the park by sound artists Bobby Bird played back on the park band stand, a bat spotting evening and a delightful lantern event.

​© 2015 by FRIENDS OF HANDSWORTH PARK. Proudly created with Wix.com

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