- Five pieces on campus feature in a new book by photographer Jonathan Berg
- Birmingham’s Public Art highlights the positive contribution that murals, sculptures, fountains and other installations make to the city environment
- Jonathan comments on how the campus integrates “almost seamlessly with its surroundings”.
Five sculptures and installations on Aston University’s campus feature in a new book celebrating public art in Birmingham.
Birmingham’s Public Art includes two water features – William Pye’s 1985 water sculpture ‘Peace’ situated in the Chancellor’s Lake near the Students’ Union and Angela Connor’s 1994 water sculpture ‘Tipping Triangles’ near the Main Building. There are also photographs of one of the Aston Stones, carved from Portland stone from 1975 to 1977 by John Maine, ‘All the Books I Should Have Read’, by Marko Mäetamm, installed outside the Students’ Union in 2019 and ‘Tempus Fugit’ outside the Library, created by Ray Lonsdale in 2004, with a hidden surprise inside.
Birmingham-based writer, photographer and tour guide Jonathan Berg has spent two years researching, writing, and taking photographs for the book which documents the likes of murals, official and unofficial graffiti, fountains, statues and sculptures all over the city, including the works of William Bloye, Anthony Gormley’s famous Iron Man in Victoria Square and the city’s newest mascot – Ozzy the Bull, star of the 2022 Commonwealth Games and recently installed in Birmingham New Street Station. The book is designed to highlight the positive contribution made by the city’s art.
Of Aston University’s public art collection, which is spread around campus, Jonathan writes that “the multiple entrance points to the campus help it to integrate almost seamlessly with its surroundings” and praises the “eclectic” collection of pieces.
Professor Helen Higson from Aston Business School helped commission and curate some of Aston University’s art collection and is also Chair of the Ikon gallery in central Birmingham. She said:
“The art at Aston represents our wish to incorporate onto our campus works which generate conversations, and which can celebrate the work of artists who have reflected on aspects of the University’s life. As an anchor institution in the city, we are proud to host items like this.”
“Aston University campus has some significant pieces of public art and my favourite is Inside ‘Tempus Fugit’, where I love the hidden meaning and also the way it has weathered. Aston University both looks after and adds to its public art and it really enhances the campus setting. I love showing it to people on our Positively Birmingham walking tours when we venture to this side of the city.”
The book is available on the dedicated website, in Birmingham bookshops and from internet booksellers.
- Notes to editors
About Aston University
For over a century, Aston University’s enduring purpose has been to make our world a better place through education, research and innovation, by enabling our students to succeed in work and life, and by supporting our communities to thrive economically, socially and culturally.
Aston University’s history has been intertwined with the history of Birmingham, a remarkable city that once was the heartland of the Industrial Revolution and the manufacturing powerhouse of the world.
Born out of the First Industrial Revolution, Aston University has a proud and distinct heritage dating back to our formation as the School of Metallurgy in 1875, the first UK College of Technology in 1951, gaining university status by Royal Charter in 1966, and becoming the Guardian University of the Year in 2020.
Building on our outstanding past, we are now defining our place and role in the Fourth Industrial Revolution (and beyond) within a rapidly changing world.
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