Shifting Birmingham: 900 years drawn and erased

See the news page for full details of the exhibition and events starting from Thursday 31st August through to Saturday 23rd September.

See below for the full story of this Arts Council funded project.

31st August 2017 Flip book available now.

The exhibition is now officially open !

1st August 2017- The Apprentice- Georgia Chapman


Georgia is 15, she is currently studying at BOA Academy in Birmingham. She is a Friction Arts ‘Art Club’ member. I decided to offer her the position of paid ‘Apprentice’ on my personal project pending ACE funding.

Georgia’s ‘bus portraits’ made on her way to school were very interesting, however, she complained that she couldn’t do full face portraits. My awareness of Dan Burwoods photographic portraits of the market traders through Friction Arts led me to get Georgia to use his work as a resource. It also occurred to me that she would add a human element to my exhibition.

Twitter @georgiachaps


25th July 2017- The flip book: 

Joseph Lilley has been entrusted to print and bind a special edition flip book of the Birmingham maps. The cover is going to be embossed. I’m really looking forward to seeing the maps physically go back and forth in time as you thumb through the pages.

900 years drawn and erased copy         Cut circle feathered edge copy

Front and back cover

Dr Joseph Lilley is a particle physicist, who has very successfully turned his hand to printmaking and bespoke bookbinding. Joseph has a business called the Holodeck. Find out about him at


20th July 2017 -The animation

1956 OS

A series of 43 Birmingham maps are now traced, turned into worlds, photographed and scaled to size. They are now in the hands of Oscar Cass-Darweish, a digital artist who is currently studying an MA in Digital Arts. Oscar has worked with me before on , a Heritage Lottery Funded project. Oscar has the knack of knowing what I want before I want it. That’s a useful skill to have, intuitive and highly skilled. The work is in safe hands.

You can find Oscar’s website at

16th May 2017

In the words of Mike Skinner from ‘The Streets’ album, A Grand Don’t Come For Free, “It was supposed to be so easy”…

I could have had the maps scanned, but I like the quality of raking light cutting across the paper and the shadows created forming contours from the folds. In book binding terms, these folds are ‘valley’ and ‘mountain’ folds; appropriate for the subject matter. This process adds an extra layer, or it can be argued, an extra layer of difficulty. I never go the easy way around.

001 Dan at the Library

Dan Burwood is pictured here lining up the maps so that they can be accurately layered over each other for the process of the animation.

Dan has completed the map photography back to 1553 so far, however, the task of ensuring they line up accurately is pretty much impossible. The width of the roads and the accuracy of the map erodes with time. So, I have decided to trace them as they are, with all of their nuances and inaccuracies; I am sure my own errors will creep into the work as I wander through the streets tracing them with my pencil.

I will be tracing the streets of Birmingham over the next few weeks and then passing my work to Oscar Cass-Darweish to animate the maps. Can’t wait to see what it’s all going to look like.

Find out more about Dan’s Darkroom Workshops click here.

To find out about Dan’s work with his associates at Some Cities click here,

Some Cities is a not for profit Community Interest Company that creates high quality and inclusive participatory photography opportunities that give a voice to people and communities. We work with all levels of photographers creating opportunities for them to learn, make and publish their work.