The skies above central Birmingham will be filled with sound on 2 and 3 October as ‘Something Good’ is created for the Anglican cathedral’s 300th anniversary celebrations. Muslim artists, Hindu temples, Jewish writers, Sikh gurdwaras, homeless hostels and schools are just some of the diverse participants in Birmingham Cathedral’s commissioned outdoor arts event celebrating its 300th anniversary.
Muslim artist and mural painter, Mohammed Ali, has been live painting through September in five Birmingham neighbourhoods with vastly differing populations and histories, including Handsworth, Sparkhill, Erdington, Longbridge (at the old car plant site) and King’s Heath. These large scale artworks will be displayed as part of the event and the words of groups across the city, interpreted by Jewish creative writer Mandy Ross will be written out in sand across the square.
Composer Dan Jones’ new composition, also including words of Birmingham communities, will fill Cathedral Square with sound images emanating from the skyline and creating moments of surprise, humour and beauty.
Christian artist Jake Lever has been inviting individuals and groups of many faiths to share their personal journeys through life and complete their own golden Soul Boat. Around 2,000 boats will create a suspended flotilla on display across the winter from December to March inside the Cathedral.
The Dean of Birmingham, the Very Revd Catherine Ogle, believes art can create conditions for people from different faiths to come together and to share new experiences:
“We are inviting people to share a moment of delight in our city. We hope to surprise them with the spirit of our Christian imagination. Birmingham is a rapidly developing city with people of many faiths and beliefs and there are of course challenges. But we also have a unique opportunity to be a shining example of how to live together well.”
‘Something Good’ brings together the work of the diverse artists and neighbourhoods, and together they build a picture of the contemporary lives of people in Birmingham and reflect on the history of innovation and industry in the city.
“Something Good is a creative work in progress” says Orit Azaz, Artistic Director, “and we hope there will be an appetite for continued collaboration between these diverse groups and neighbourhoods of the city in years to come”