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November 2004
The Changing Face of Birmingham
By Phill Huxley
Picture by Byron Bailey
Picture by Byron Bailey
Local artist Byron Bailey is staging his first exhibition at The Drum from 8 November to 10 December. The show features paintings and drawings depicting the transforming environment in Birmingham, particuarly the city centre.
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Byron Bailey's exhibition 'The Changing Face of Birmingham' takes place at The Drum in Aston.

The exhibition is from Monday 8 November – Friday 10 December. Admission to the exhibition is free

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Byron Bailey has spent the past four years drawing and painting the architectural changes that have taken place Birmingham. Using charcoal, acrylics pencil and watercolours Byron has created a series of images showing all sides of the city.

Born in Birmingham, he spent six years of his childhood in Jamaica, before returing to study art at Lea Mason Secondary School and later Bourneville School of Art.

Here he explains the thinking behind his work and how he tries to document the city as it evolves.

Picture by Byron Bailey
A picture of New Street by Byron Bailey

"Birmingham had to change really and I think it's changing for the better if i'm honest. My only concern is the amount of high rise buidlings and apartment blocks that are springing up.

"I like a lot of the old Victorian buildings, such as the ones in New Street. I think they have a lot of character. If we can get a blend of the old and the modern then I think that will make for an excellent city"

When looking for scenes to draw or paint Byron is often drawn towards areas of the city that are run down or primed for development.

Picture by Byron Bailey
The Rotunda

"If i'm searching for images then I look for buildings that are dilapidated. If they're going to get rid of it soon then I'll draw it or paint it! I wanted to capture The old Bullring before it was knocked down and i'm glad I did now."

Byron uses a variety of materials for his work and tailors what he uses towards the subject.

"I look at the image and decide what is the best medium for it. If it's a dark alleyway then I might use charcoal, whereas if it's a sunny scene then I would probably use watercolours."

Byron works full time in the jewellery business and may be known to many people as a musician rather than an artist.

Picture by Byron Bailey
The reconstruction of the Bull Ring

"Originally my art was a hobby. I'm more well known in Birmingham as a Saxophone player really. I've been playing for over 20 years, since secondary school and I perform around Birmingham. I've been doing my art all that time as well - since I was at school. I didn't ever plan to have an exhibition, but now i'm really looking forward to it."

The Changing Face of Birmingham is on at The Drum in Aston from 8 November to 10 December. Entrance to the exhibition is free.

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