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Creatives We Are is community of passion that recognises that creativity is in all us. Here we provide a space where people can share their passion, showcase their creativity and inspire others to explore their creative self.

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Art, culture & creativity
10 Jul 2020 - Stephen Calcutt
News & Updates

BuStopia

https://www.youtube.com/embed//4thOYIdnxwM

This is a prototype event that encapsulates my work and where I'm coming from as an artist 

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BuStopia





This is a prototype event that encapsulates my work and where I'm coming from as an artist 


This is the run down of the BuStopia event as depicted on my wesite, I was to present this again as  a performance piece at the Midland Fashion Awards 2020 which has been cancelled due to Covid 19. 

BuStopia 

The first  live show was performed Saturday March the 7th 2020 at the Direct Art Action Gallery in Sutton Coldfield.  Birmingham UK.  that was conceived as part of the overall multi media art exhibition is also called BuStopia as a stand alone piece.

The show lasts approximately 5 minutes and is made up of three stages representing a transition from an anxious, depressed state to a feeling of taking ownership  of ones life and  empowerment.

The first stage of the show the models portraying an anxiety or depressed  state.  The models  are some way from the viewers the projection and the windows reinforcing the detachment that the models are portraying as the pace across the floor. 

Phase 1:       Anxiety depression 

The models stop and stand still for this part of the performance. This is the transformation phase where the make up artist  applies some colour to the faces of the models in a minimalist fashion. Preparing the models for the final movement.  

Phase 2:         Transformation

The transformation music stops the models start to weave through the windows getting closer to the viewers slowly the barriers are diminishing. 

The models  discarded the  white outer garments, removed to reveal the garments I created  this is symbolic like the butterfly that transforms from the caterpillar .

This phase of the show the models are now stood in  front of the windows. They are now in full view of the audience the projected film is now hitting them directly. When the models remove their outer white garments they reveal the brightly coloured formal garments that Idesigned. 

Phase 3:           Empowerment

They have broken through the anxiety and depression there are no barriers between them and the viewer.  They have taken ownership, they are in control of their lives.  The clothing symbolises  this state by containing the chaotic image within classic formal clean cut garments. The models then engage in a traditional catwalk as the final movement of this show 

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40 passion points
Travel & tourism
08 Jul 2020 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

Go to space in the Future at Thinktank

On Level 3 of Thinktank Birmingham Science Museum is The Future. All about space and the Thinktank Planetarium is up here! This visit was during April 2014. See an astronaut, an alien, robots and more! Get the lift up there, or go up the stairs. An idea for a Planetarium goes back to when one was proposed for what is now Centenary Square (1941 model). This one in Eastside opened in 2001.

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Go to space in the Future at Thinktank





On Level 3 of Thinktank Birmingham Science Museum is The Future. All about space and the Thinktank Planetarium is up here! This visit was during April 2014. See an astronaut, an alien, robots and more! Get the lift up there, or go up the stairs. An idea for a Planetarium goes back to when one was proposed for what is now Centenary Square (1941 model). This one in Eastside opened in 2001.


THE FUTURE AT THINKTANK

Space, the Final Frontier, these are the voyages of the Starship Birmingham, it's continuing mission, to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilisations, to boldly go where no one has gone before!

Located on Level 3 at Thinktank Birmingham Science Museum in Millennium Point is an area called The Future. I went up there during the April 2014 visit to Thinktank. Using our free Thinktank vouchers, took advantage during 2014 while it was still valid. But you have to wear a wristband. I didn't get around to going up to The Future the year before in April 2013.

 

The area is now called Find the Future. But expect that it is the same exhibits as 6 years earlier. And many of it would have been placed here back in 2001 when the museum opened.

Below is the description on the Thinktank website:

Explore the outer reaches of space, get to grips with innovative inventions and marvel at how medical advancements are saving lives. Head to Talking Point to consider scientists’ predictions for the future – and have your say!

The Futures gallery brings to life how science, technology and medicine have a huge impact on the way we live - now and in the future.

With interactive exhibits such as Create an Alien and RoboThespian, the Futures gallery aims to stimulate debate, explore scientific issues and question our place in the Universe.

 

The Planetarium now has a 4K system, but at the time of our visit in 2014 they still had the old 2001 version (it was voiced I think by former BBC Midlands Today presenter Sue Beardsmore).

This is the description for the Planeterium on the Thinktank website:

Step inside Thinktank’s Planetarium and explore the outer reaches of space, get up close to constellations, journey through the night-sky and adventure through the solar system!

In addition to astronomy, there will be shows that allow you to travel through the human body; dive under the ocean; shrink to the size of an atom or allow yourself to be immersed completely in music and light.

 

There could have been an even earlier Planetarium built in what is now Centenary Square. As seen in this model made in 1941. It would have been located close to Broad Street approximately where Symphony Hall is now. But due to World War 2, this plan was abandoned, and only Baskerville House (completed in 1938) and the Hall of Memory (opened in 1925) were built in the end. Birmingham wouldn't get a Planeterium until Thinktank opened in Millennium Point in 2001! Saw the model at the Birmingham Museum Collection Centre during an open day in May 2012.

After the war, Roman Imperial imagery went out of fashion, so this plan for a civic square never came to be. The proposed planetarium would have been to the far left of the Broad Street site.

Birds-eye view of the model where the proposed Planetarium would have been located. The model was made by William Haywood, who was Secretary of The Birmingham Civic Society. In the end, it would another 60 years before a Planetarium would open at Thinktank in Millennium Point.

 

Now for a tour of The Future from my visit during April 2014.

First view of The Future after heading up the stairs to Level 3. Saw these yellow tubes in the centre of the room. They might be just below the Planetarium.

The outside of the Planetarium. When inside, it's a bit like sitting in a cinema, but looking up at the ceiling with all the changing images of the solar system and the planets and beyond!

This part was called the Future of Space. With an image of the planet Earth on it.

They had a full astronaut suit on display. Probably from the European Space Agency if not from NASA.

The front of the astronaut's suit. Could do with a helmet right now! That would protect you from the glare from the sun.

A look at RoboThespian. It was an anamatronic.

Close up look at the top half of RoboThespian.

Saw this Mars Rover on a recreation of the surface of the Martian planet. A bit like what NASA would send there.

An alien with 9 eyes! This was an animation that kept changing. Imagining what aliens could look like?

They had a couple of Gyroscopes on display. They look like remote controlled helicopters. Before drones was invented.

A moving robot arm. This is a screenshot from the video I took, as the only photo I got of it, showed it in motion while it was moving. It looks like the robot arm was drumming on a drum kit.

Futher displays in The Future. All sections here was interactive with a touchscreen. And behind the objects was screens explaining what the object was all about.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown. Thanks for all the followers.

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60 passion points
Travel & tourism
01 Jul 2020 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

The Thinktank Science Garden outside of Millennium Point

The Thinktank Science Garden opened in the new Eastside City Park in December 2012. I initially saw it after it opened. Then a few years later had a close up look at the Thinktank Science Garden during another visit to Thinktank in April 2014. You need your ticket to enter. It has been so hot of late, so cool off digitally with the fun water jets here.

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The Thinktank Science Garden outside of Millennium Point





The Thinktank Science Garden opened in the new Eastside City Park in December 2012. I initially saw it after it opened. Then a few years later had a close up look at the Thinktank Science Garden during another visit to Thinktank in April 2014. You need your ticket to enter. It has been so hot of late, so cool off digitally with the fun water jets here.


Thinktank Science Garden

I was first aware of the Thinktank Science Garden, while Eastside City Park was being built during 2012, outside of Millennium Point (not far from Curzon Street).

In February 2012, I saw signs on the hoardings for Eastside City Park which said:

 
Where scientastic things happen!
 
Thinktank will be taking science outdoors in 2012 with the opening of a new Science Garden. The whole family can get 'hands-on' and 'bodies-on' with our extraordinary outdoor exhibits, and explore the science and engineering that shape your world in our three themed areas - energise, mechanise and mobilise.
The Science Garden will be located directly in front of Thinktank and is part of the Eastside City Park.

 

It was originally supposed to open in the Summer of 2012. But wasn't really completed until early December 2012 when Eastside City Park was first opened to the public. You used to be able to enter the Science Garden using your Thinktank ticket, but according to the official website it is free to enter after 3pm. In the winter period it normally closes at 4pm. It is located in front of Level 0 of Thinktank in Eastside City Park.

There would have been similar hands on contraptions at the old Birmingham Museum of Science & Industry as I remember interacting with them at the Newhall Street site back in the 1990s. Sadly the old museum closed down in 1997, with the majority of the contents being moved to the new Millennium Point site, which opened in 2001. The old museum was free, but the new museum is a paid for attraction.

Most of what you see below was probably newly built in 2012 (unless they recycled parts from the previous museum).

 

2012

My first wonder around Eastside City Park was on the 9th December 2012. The park was opened by the then leader of Birmingham City Council on the evening of the 5th December 2012. While there I had a look at the Thinktank Science Garden from the outside. It was not open.

Only a year earlier in 2011, this was part of the outdoor Millennium Point car park. But that got replaced with a multi-storey car park, enabling this land to be built into a park.

Views of the scientific machines kids can interact with such as the Chain drive (the clock tower), and the wind turbines (on the left).

The view towards the site of what is now the Curzon Building at Birmingham City University (before it was built). But at the time they were finishing off the Parkside Building. Also visible is the now demolish Curzon Gate student accommodation (to make way for HS2). It was demolished in 2019.

2013

Views of the entrance to the Thinktank Science Garden seen during March 2013. This was around half a month before paid to go to Thinktank for the first time with my then camera.

At the time was probably heading to work, so went via Eastside City Park for once. This was before 10am so wasn't open at the time. And when I did pay to go to Thinktank at the beginning of April 2013, I didn't go into the Science Garden at the time.

2014

During the April 2014 visit to Thinktank, we popped into the Science Garden with our tickets. I had some free vouchers from the Birmingham Museums Trust which I could use at Thinktank, as I had a photo of the BT Tower at the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery during 2013. So had to use them in 2014 before they expired.

This is called Water playscape.

A close up look at one third of Water playscape. Water was coming out of the tap into the bucket. There was also plastic watering cans and hoses in the pool of water here.

Here we have Elastic squirt. Fire up the wate piston. At the time I was thee I had a go but it didn't really work for me.

Next up we have Effort. Looks like it was balancing wooden hands on it.

Didn't get the name of this machine, but it is tall cylinder with a red arrow on the top.

Then there was the Human hamster wheel.

Then there was the Wind turbines.

The main landmark of the Science Garden was the Chain drive. Looks like a clocktower.

The next contraption was called Hang in the balance.

Build a bridge. This was one thing I recall from the old Birmingham Museum of Science & Industry on Newhall Street. Although I don't know if it was saved from there, or completely a new build.

Also saw this Car with square wheels. Two square wheels and two round wheels. Won't get very far.

And finally we have this thing that was part of Mobilise. Maybe you have to move those rubber items around the steel tubes?

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown. Thanks for all the followers.

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70 passion points
Art, culture & creativity
30 Jun 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Whatever happened to Antony Gormley's Iron:Man in Victoria Square?

Iron:Man by Anthony Gormley was originally located in Victoria Square from 1993 until it was moved to storage in 2017. Originally named Untitled but nicknamed as Iron:Man. The TSB used to be in Victoria Square House and it was their gift to the City (until their HQ moved to Bristol). When will it return and where will it go?

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Whatever happened to Antony Gormley's Iron:Man in Victoria Square?





Iron:Man by Anthony Gormley was originally located in Victoria Square from 1993 until it was moved to storage in 2017. Originally named Untitled but nicknamed as Iron:Man. The TSB used to be in Victoria Square House and it was their gift to the City (until their HQ moved to Bristol). When will it return and where will it go?


Iron:Man by Antony Gormley

The statue of the Iron:Man used to be located in Victoria Square from March 1993 until it was removed to storage in September 2017, to make way for the Westside Metro extension to Centenary Square. While this extension opened in December 2019, Antony Gormley's Iron:Man has yet to return. As new paving was being laid in Victoria Square. And as far as I am aware, it is not yet finished (I've not been back to the City Centre in 3 months of lockdown, but have seen other peoples recent photos of the square).

It was originally a gift to the city from the TSB whose headquarters used to be in Victoria Square House. Unveiled in 1993. It was originally named Untitled but gained the nickname Iron:Man from locals. It is made of iron. The TSB moved out of Victoria Square House when they merged with Lloyds Bank in 1995.

The statue was cast at the Firth Rixon Castings in Willenhall. It represented the traditional skills of Birmingham and the Black Country.

The statue remained in place for many years, it was suggested that it be relocate to Bristol which was the new headquarters location of Lloyds TSB. But as it was a gift to the City of Birmingham it remained here. But it was removed to storage in September 2017 ahead of the building of the Westside Metro extension to Centenary Square (Grand Central Tram Stop to Library Tram Stop).

I would assume that it could return to Victoria Square later in 2020 if the paving is finished.

 

Iron:Man maquette at the Birmingham Museum Collection Centre

During my September 2018 visit to the Birmingham Museum Collection Centre, while I did not find the full sized Iron:Man, I did find this maquette.

This was Antony Gormley's preliminary model made out of painted plaster.

It apparently used to be located at the the Public Art Commissions Agency in the Jewellery Quarter, but for whatever reason, it ended up in storage here in the warehouse.

Iron:Man in Victoria Square until 2017

My first photo of the Iron:Man was taken during April 2009, when I started going around Birmingham with my camera. Here backed with the Town Hall.

The next view of the Iron:Man was taken during May 2009 facing Victoria Square House.

The Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market was on during November 2009, with this Iron:Man view. You can also see the old 103 Colmore Row AKA National Westminster House by the late John Madin.

The Iron:Man seen during May 2011. Union Jack bunting was up around Victoria Square near the Town Hall during the early May Bank Holiday weekend that followed the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (Aston Villa fan Prince William and Catherine Middleton).

It was Armed Forces Day in Victoria Square during June 2011. There was members of the British Armed Forces in uniform near the Iron:Man.

Including members of the Royal Air Force, Royal Navy and British Army. The Iron:Man had been in this slanted position since being installed back in 1993.

The snow of January 2013 as I headed past the Iron:Man towards Broad Street. Probably the only timed I've caught the Iron:Man covered in snow!

Back to Spring like weather in April 2013. And the Iron:Man was witness to the English Market at the St George's Day Celebrations that year.

The Iron:Man in September 2013 with a British Red Cross tent during the 4 Squares Weekender.

Caught a glimpse of the Iron:Man in Victoria Square during June 2014 when the Lord Mayors Show 2014 was being held. At the time there was some men doing bike tricks near the Council litter pickers!

Some of my last views of the Iron:Man. The view below taken in August 2017. A month before being removed to storage.

Last views in September 2017. A seagull was standing on Iron:Man's head. And left bird mess on top of it.

Pink Midland Metro Alliance barriers and fences had gone around the statue, as workmen were preparing to remove the statue and take it to storage. About a week after this it was gone.

Iron:Man had been in storage now for almost 3 years. When will he return? Where exactly in Victoria Square will he be placed? Perhaps in front of the Town Hall? Could he come back near the end of 2020?

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown. Thanks for all the followers.

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60 passion points
Modern Architecture
23 Jun 2020 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Tour of the inside of the Library of Birmingham during September 2013

Welcome to a tour of the Library of Birmingham from my visits back in September 2013. My first visits were on the 21st and 28th September 2013. It was very busy. Loads of people visiting the library for the first time. Heading up the escalators between the levels. At the time the glass lift still worked, so you could go in that if it wasn't too busy. 9 levels plus the basement levels.

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Tour of the inside of the Library of Birmingham during September 2013





Welcome to a tour of the Library of Birmingham from my visits back in September 2013. My first visits were on the 21st and 28th September 2013. It was very busy. Loads of people visiting the library for the first time. Heading up the escalators between the levels. At the time the glass lift still worked, so you could go in that if it wasn't too busy. 9 levels plus the basement levels.


For this post we are only looking at the inside of the Library of Birmingham. So not the Shakespeare Memorial Room, Discovery Terrace or the Secret Garden (I'll leave those for future posts).

 

Originally the Library had revolving doors from Centenary Square (and also to the Discovery Terrace on Level 3). There is also a disabled door you can use by the press of a button. The revolving doors were replaced years later by automatic doors, as the revolving doors kept getting stuck. Also the glass lift from Level 4 to Level 7 stopped working after a year. Meaning you have to use the other lifts, or the stairs (if you can). There are escalators from Level G (the ground floor) to Level 3. Then a travelator up to Level 4. Access to Level 7 and 9 is by the lifts or stairs. Level 5 and Level 8 is for staff only. There is also the Library Cafe on the ground floor, and you can take you coffee up to the Mezzanine floor (also called Level MZ).

 

21st September 2013

Starting on the ground floor Level G, a look towards the entrance to the REP. On the left is the Library Shop. Where you can buy Birmingham souvenirs. I got in after 4pm that day.

The escalators from Level G to Level 1 was busy that day. On the left was a temporary exhibition, called The Pavilion

When it opened, Level 1 was originally called Business Learning & Health (this was before Brasshouse Languages took it over in 2016).

There used to be desks where you could work on your laptop or tablet on. WiFi early on was weak, but years later the free WiFi got better (well at least after I kept upgrading my smartphone every couple of years).

The escalators from Level 1 up to Level 2.

Next up was Level 2, which was originally called the Knowledge Floor. Around the core of this floor and the floor above is the Book Rotunda. There is a lot of old historic books around there.

Another area for studying and using your laptop or tablet with a view out to Centenary Square.

Now it was time to leave Level 2 for Level 3. Just had to go up the escalator to the next floor.

Now a look around Level 3, which was called the Discovery Floor at the time. This area was called the Mediatheque. Where you can watch films from a library collection (I think).

The Travelator that goes from Level 3 up to Level 4. That time it was set to go up on the right. Usually you go up on the left.

On the ride up, you can see the glass lift. And there was a queue for it waiting to go up to Level 7.

Level 4 was called Archives & Heritage. You can go through glass doors when you get to the top, or at the time use the glass lift (it wouldn't remain in service for long before it broke down - in fact it's not worked for years!).

I would have gone higher that day, but it was almost 5pm and that was the time that the Library of Birmingham closed for the evening. So heading back down the escalators through the Book Rotunda. At this point heading down from Level 3 to Level 2. Next up would be the escalator down to Level 1.

Heading down the escalator from Level 1 back to Level G, where you can see The Pavilion temporary exhibition on the right.

A look at the Children's Library which is on Level LG (Lower Ground Floor).

Back on Level G, and heading from the Library of Birmingham into the foyer of the REP.

28th September 2013

One week later, I returned to the Library of Birmingham to go all the way up to the top to Level 9 for the Shakespeare Memorial Room and Skyline Viewpoint. Got in much earlier this time, just before 1pm that day. This wall welcomes you to the Library of Birmingham. Was also a screen showing information about the exhibition on at the time called Dozens & Trails. This was on Level G.

This time I was able to get the glass lift up from Level 4 to Level 7.

Now on Level 7 after going up the glass lift. Here you can see the comfy red chairs in a staff only area of the Library. On Level 7 is the Secret Garden.

Views from Level 7 near the Glass Lift down to the floors below. You can see the travelator and the escalators down to about Level 2.

If you don't like heights don't look down! On this day the travelator was operating in the correct directions. Left side to take you down from Level 7 to 4. The right side to take you up from Level 4 to 7.

The escalators on Level 2 takes you to and from Level 1 (on the left) and to and from Level 3 (on the right).

There was also some comfy red chairs on Level 7. I used to sit on some of them on Level 3 to get onto the WiFi on my then smartphone.

On Level 7 you can see a staff office through the window from the corridor from the regular lifts and stairs. So you might see this if going to or from the Secret Garden (unless they have the blinds down).

That day I used the stairs to go down. Went a bit too far down to Level LG, and saw these desks with PC's on them. So had to go back up the stairs to Level G to exit.

That's it folks for this tour of the Library of Birmingham. It's changed a lot since it first opened 7 years ago.

For the next Library of Birmingham post, I could show you around the Shakespeare Memorial Room. It's on Level 9 near the Skyline Viewpoint.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown. Thanks for all the followers.

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