Shifting Birmingham- The animation.

Shifting Birmingham: The fast (flip book) animation.

See the map of Birmingham shift and change from 1553 to the most recent map by OS in 2015.

Looking at the south side of the map you will see an area gradually disappear and reappear (around the 2015 mark) as time goes backward and forward on the map. This erased area is the site of the Wholesale Markets (Europe’s largest Wholesale market). The site is due to be demolished in February 2018. Trading on this site has been taking place since Saxon times; hence the 900 years reference.

The intention was to see how the shape of Birmingham’s road map evolved over the years; however, I was struck by how the curation of the map was affected by the social and political landscape of the time and what was considered important enough to make prominent on the map.

Note the changes in the way the map is curated. Only the main texts (the most prominent) texts have been chosen. Look out for the type of font, from sans serif to serif fonts, from numbers that denote ward areas, to church areas and areas of ownership such as Gooch, Lench and Jennens.

This animated map is a mixture of art and history and is intended to show an overview of the map rather than presenting the map in its isolated individual states .

I hope you enjoy this map. But if it’s a bit too FAST for you there is another much SLOWER below.

Thanks to Oscar Cass-Darweish for animating my finished drawings.

See the full story of this Arts Council funded project on the home page here

Read the essay by Joseph Lilley here.

Related projects:

See portraits of market traders by Georgia Chapman: here

Funding from Arts Council has enabled 15 year old Georgia Chapman to see what it is like for a professional artist to prepare for a major exhibition that will contribute to the history of the Wholesale Markets though the people who have worked there as traders. Georgia’s work will be displayed until February 2017 when the largest Wholesale Market in Europe will be demolished.



Friction Arts: Wholesale Memory

The full story of the Wholesale Markets- click on and take a look at their Wholesale Memory Project. Friction Arts will be stationed within the markets with an exhibition celebrating the life and diversity of this wonderful space. Check out their website for opening times. They will be welcoming people to see their exhibition until February 2018.

If you want to see real diversity in the city, visit the car boot and pick up a bargain on Sunday morning from 8am -1pm, the whole world is waiting for you there…but only ’til February 2017.