Birmingham community libraries celebrate Commonwealth Games with art exhibition

Masks of the Commonwealth - Oceania
Published: Thursday, 21st July 2022

Six Birmingham Community Libraries are celebrating the history and culture of countries from the Commonwealth through an art exhibition this summer.

With Birmingham set to proudly host the Commonwealth Games next week, local artist Ken Banks has created 72 masks to represent the different Commonwealth nations and territories.

The free exhibition, which runs until 13 August, is divided into geographic areas - Africa, Americas, Asia, Caribbean, Europe and Oceania - with each of the six libraries hosting one set of masks.

The Masks of the Commonwealth exhibition is on display at the following libraries across the city:

•         Birchfield Library - Caribbean

•         Northfield Library - Americas

•         Perry Common Library - Oceania

•         South Yardley Library - African

•         Tower Hill Library - Asian

•         Yardley Wood Library - European

From 20 August – 17 September, the complete collection of 72 masks will go on display at South Yardley Library.

Artist Ken Banks will be visiting South Yardley Library to hold a session on the inspiration behind his Masks of the Commonwealth exhibition on 15 September from 5.30pm.

Throughout the summer, Birmingham Community Libraries will be running events for children, some of which will be thematically linked to the masks on display and the countries of the Commonwealth. 

Cllr Jayne Francis, Cabinet Member for Digital, Culture, Heritage & Tourism, said: “The Masks of the Commonwealth exhibition once again shows that Birmingham 2022 is about so much more than 11 days of sport.

“Ken’s fantastic masks illustrate just how talented our creative communities are and for his work to be showcased at six of the city’s local libraries ensures our communities play their part in celebrating the arts and culture surrounding the Games.”




For more media information please contact Claire Boden at


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