Be Bold, Be Birmingham street art mural unveiled at Smithfield Birmingham

Published: Wednesday, 30th June 2021

Birmingham City Council has today (June 30) boldly unveiled a stunning new street art mural.

Selly Oak artist Joshua Billingham, also known as Gent 48, was commissioned to create artwork to celebrate a new era for Smithfield Birmingham, as part of the city council’s Be Bold, Be Birmingham initiative.

Joshua’s bespoke mural is emblazoned on the roof of the former Markets Car Park in Moat Lane, Digbeth.

The Be Bold, Be Birmingham street art mural marks the beginning of one of the most significant development opportunities in the city centre. Smithfield Birmingham will be a bold, brand new innovative and sustainable city quarter that will provide local jobs, amenities and over 3,000 much needed new homes for the city, as well as opening up wider opportunities for regeneration.

The £1.9bn 17 hectare development will anchor an expanded city centre, helping to accelerate a wider transformation of Birmingham and support long-term economic and social prosperity within the region.

Joshua’s unique design for the temporary artwork took eight days to complete and covers the entire surface of the car park roof.

“I’ve never painted on a car park roof before,” admitted Joshua.

“I knew it was going to be challenging but then I thought if I’m painting a statement telling other people to be bold, I should be bold myself.

“I just love to paint. I didn’t do so well at school, but I was always passionate about drawing and painting. It shows that if you stick at something and you’re passionate it can pay off for you.”

Be Bold, Be Birmingham was launched earlier this year and is a campaign propelling Birmingham and its people to the forefront showcasing creativity, diversity, ambition and uniqueness.

“Joshua’s artwork is fantastic,” said Cllr Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham City Council.

“The message Be Bold Be Birmingham is very much about this city. Birmingham is a city on the up, a city that is going places.

“We want people to be really bold about their city and Be Bold, Be Birmingham is the ideal message.”

Background notes

To find out more about Be Bold, Be Birmingham, visit the city council’s Be Bold, Be Birmingham webpage.

To find out more about Joshua Billingham, please visit his Instagram page.

A photo gallery featuring a range of images of the mural can be found on the council's Flickr page.

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