Birmingham's Public Art - Enjoy!

Art is great for the soul and mind! Enjoy this feature with our community of people with passion who love their art and love to showcase what's on show across their city for all to enjoy.

There is so much in and across the city for people to enjoy, whether they are visiting Birmingham or live here. Some of the art is well-known and well documented, but a lot remains undiscovered.  

Here is a selection - enjoy!


Public Art on display


Statue of Horatio Nelson at the Bullring by Richard Westmacott

The first public statue to be installed in Birmingham was of Horatio Nelson (1758 - 1805), the hero of the Battle of Trafalgar (1805). It was placed at the Bull Ring in 1809.

NelsonStatue of Horatio Nelson at the Bullring. Photography by Elliott Brown


Statue of Sir Robert Peel in Edgbaston by Peter Hollins

The second public statue to be installed in Birmingham was of Sir Robert Peel (1788 -1850). It was originally installed at Congreve Street in 1855, then moved to Council House Square (now Victoria Square) in 1873. It was later relocated to Calthorpe Park in Edgbaston in 1926. The statue was removed from the original plinth, and moved further down the Pershore Road to a site in front of what is now the West Midlands Police Learning & Development Centre - Tally Ho! in 1963. The Birmingham Civic Society is hoping a more suitable site can be found in the City Centre for the statue and original plinth. The statue was originally erected to commemorate Peel repealing the Corn Laws, and not founding the police force.

Robert PeelStatue of Sir Robert Peel on the Pershore Road in Edgbaston. Photography by Elliott Brown


The Statue of Joseph Sturge at Five Ways by John Thomas

Joseph Sturge (1793-1859) was an anti slavery campaigner, as well as a corn merchant and Quaker. After his death, a statue in his memory was unveiled in 1862 at Five Ways, sculpted by John Thomas. It was restored in 2007, on the bicentenary of the Slave Trade Act 1807. You can find it between Harborne Road and Hagley Road near Five Ways Island, in Edgbaston.

Statue of Joseph Sturge at Five WaysStatue of Joseph Sturge outside the Marriott Hotel at Five Ways. Photography by Elliott Brown


Statue of Claude Auchinleck outside of Park Regis Birmingham

The bronze statue was made in 1965 by Fiore de Henriquez, and was originally in Auchinleck Square at the Five Ways Shopping Centre (until it was demolished in 2013). After the completion of the Park Regis Birmingham hotel in late 2015, the statue was returned from storage, and installed on the pavement on Broad Street, not far from Five Ways Island. Park Regis Birmingham was refit of what was formerly called Auchinleck House.

Claude AuchinleckStatue of Claude Auchinleck outside of Park Regis Birmingham. Photography by Elliott Brown


The Guardian - Bullring bull

Unveiled on 4th September 2003 at the new Bullring shopping centre, it was a bronze bull sculpted by Laurence Broderick. Over the years, the bull has been regularly dressed up for many occasions. And people usually meet at the bull. One of the most photogaphed statues in Birmingham!

Bullring BullBullring bull dressed up. Photography by Elliott Brown


Ozzy - The Commonwealth Games Raging Bull

The bull was designed by Artem FX, and was originally used for the opening ceremony of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games on the 28th July 2022. A day or so later, the Raging Bull was moved for the public to enjoy in Centenary Square, from late July to the end of September 2022. After a brief stay at a car park in Ladywood, Artem took him back to London to be rebuilt. A competition was held by Network Rail to name the bull, and Ozzy was the winner after Black Sabbath's Ozzy Osbourne. Ozzy was rebuilt in the Birmingham New Street Station concourse and unveiled at the end of July 2023, on the one year anniversary of the games.

OzzyOzzy at Birmingham New Street Station (July 2023). Photography by Elliott Brown


Sir Antony Gormley's Iron: Man in Victoria Square

Iron: Man was outside of Victoria Square House from 1993 (when it was the HQ of the TSB). It remained there until 2017 when it was removed to storage ahead of the building of the Westside Metro extension from Stephenson Street to Centenary Square (2017-19). But it only returned in February - March 2022, on a site outside of the Town Hall.

Iron: ManIron: Man in Victoria Square (March 2022). Photography by Elliott Brown


'River, Youth, Guardians and Object', or 'Floozie in the Jacuzzi' at Victoria Square by Dhruva Mistry 

Made in 1993, the Floozie in the Jacuzzi was removed to storage in October 2021, then returned as of April 2022. The fountain was in full working order by summer 2022.

Floozie in the JacuzziRiver and Youth seen from the 18th floor balcony at 103 Colmore Row (June 2022). Photography by Elliott Brown


The fountains in Victoria Square had a variety of leaks between the 2000s and 2010s, but this was not fully repaired until 2022.

FloozieThe Floozie in the Jacuzzi in 2014.  Photography by Daniel Sturley


There is also a pair of Guardian sphinxes in Victoria Square.

Guardian sphinxOne of the two Guardians of 'the River' in Victoria Square by Dhruva Mistry.  Photography by Daniel Sturley


The 'Pergola Bench' in Oozell's Square by Paul de Monchaux

Paul de Monchaux's Pergola Bench with the Ikon Art Gallery in Oozells Square. Photography by Kevin Maslin


'Aquaduct' by Miles Davies in Central Square Brindleyplace

Miles Davies' 'Aquaduct' in Central Square. Photography by Daniel Sturley 



'The Battle of Gods and Giants' by Roderick Tye by canalside outside ICC

'The Battle of Gods and Giants' at the canaside entrance to the ICC.  Photography by Daniel Sturley


'Black Sabbath Bench' by Tarek Abdelkawi on Broad Street

The Black Sabbath Bench on Broad Street by Tarek Abdelkawi.  Photography by Daniel Sturley


'A Real Birmingham Family' by Gillian Wearing in Centenary Square

The 'A Real Birmingham Family' statue in Centenary Square by Gillian Wearing.  Photography by Daniel Sturley


'Diving Sculpture' by Cathy Lewis outside The Cube, Mailbox

'Diving Sculpture' near The Cube by Cathy Lewis.  Photography by Elliott Brown


'The Lovely People' by Temper at The Cube, Mailbox

One of the 'Lovely People' at The Cube by Temper.  Photography by Elliott Brown


'Reflective Pool and Water Jets' by Graeme Massie Architects in Centenary Square

The multi-coloured water feature in Centenary Square.  Photography by Daniel Sturley


'The Copper Tree' by Wolfgang Buttress in St. Martin's Square

The 'Copper Tree' in St Martin's Square by Wolfgang Buttress.  Photography by Daniel Sturley


'Lego Giraffe' outside the Legoland Discovery Centre at Arena Birmingham 

The Lego Giraffe outside the Legoland Discovery Centre at Arena Birmingham.  Photography by Daniel Sturley


The Commuter

Now located on platforms 1 & 2 in front of a waiting room at Birmingham Snow Hill Station, the John McKenna statue was originally on the concourse above (up the escalator) and unveiled in 1996 by Neil Kinnock (then an MEP and the European commissioner for Transport). It was moved to the platform level in 2014.

The CommuterThe Commuter on platform 1 & 2 at Birmingham Snow Hill Station (May 2015). Photography by Elliott Brown


Peaky Blinders at Assay Lofts, Jewellery Quarter

Bronze statue made in 2019 by the artist Paul Margetts. Pirched on a brick window ledge of Assay Lofts on Charlotte Street in the Jewellery Quarter (close to St Paul's Square). Inspired by the BBC TV series created by Steven Knight.

Peaky BlindersPeaky Blinders at Assay Lofts, Jewellery Quarter. Photography by Elliott Brown


Black British History is British History

Located on the Soho Loop of the Birmingham Canal Navigations Old Mainline (and near Winson Green Prison), is Luke Perry's 2023 sculpture. It represents the history of Black British people in the UK, not just since the Windrush generation, but going back thousands of years.

Black British History is British HistoryBlack British History is British History on the Soho Loop (July 2023). Photography by Elliott Brown


Hockley Flyover murals

Located within Hockley Circus, is these 1968 concrete Climbing Walls by William Mitchell. Below the Hockley Flyover that carries Hockley Hill towards Soho Hill. They were Grade II listed in 2022.

Hockley Flyover muralsHockley Flyover murals (January 2018). Photography by Elliott Brown


Stirchley Gorilla

This 10 foot high fibreglass gorilla statue was made at a factory in the Philippines and shipped to Birmingham for the owner of JJ's Flooring Services, on the Pershore Road in Stirchley. It has been on the roof since 2015. Evokes memories of the lost King Kong statue from the early 1970's.

Stirchley GorillaStirchley Gorilla on the Pershore Road (March 2022). Photography by Elliott Brown


Statue of William McGregor at Villa Park

This bronze statue was unveiled outside of the Trinity Road Stand at Villa Park, home stadium of Aston Villa FC in 2009, was sculpted by Sam Holland. One of many sporting statues at stadiums around the West Midlands. William McGregor (1846 - 1911) was a committee member of Aston Villa (from 1877), then Club President (1880), eventually becoming the Club Chairman (1897). McGregor helped to found the Football League in 1888. 

William McGregorStatue of William McGregor at Villa Park, home of Aston Villa FC (January 2010). Photography by Elliott Brown


SS Journey

Located in Handsworth Park, facing the lake is Luke Perry's 2017 sculpture called SS Journey. The bronze figure was modelled on local man Hector Pinkney MBE, also called 'Mr Handsworth'. It commemorated all the people who moved from around the world to Handsworth and other parts of the UK. Was part of the Handsworth Arts Trail.

SS JourneySS Journey by Luke Perry at Handsworth Park (September 2019). Photography by Elliott Brown


The Knight of the Vale

A stainless steel sculpture of a knight on a horse next to a castle, by John McKenna. Located on Farnborough Road near Tangmere Drive, Castle Vale. Commissioned by Sainsbury's and the Castle Vale Housing Action Trust. Unveiled in 2002 by Sir Richard Knowles. It depicts a knight on horseback next to a castle. Was named by Castle Vale residents. Near Chivenor Primary School. 

The Knight of the ValeThe Knight of the Vale at Castle Vale (November 2023). Photography by Elliott Brown



There are many sculptures and memorials in parks located in and out of the city.  Some are permanent and some are fixed like the Memorial to the Sousse Terror Attack Victims in Cannon Hill Park.


'The Tree of Life' by Lorenzo Quinn

'The Tree of Life' WW2 Blitz Memorial by Lorenzo Quinn in St Martins Square.  Photography by Daniel Sturley


Infinite Wave’ by George King Architects at Cannon Hill Park

The Memorial to the Sousse Terror Attack Victims in Cannon Hill Park by George King Architects.  Photography by Daniel Sturley


'Trees Sculpture' aka Birmingham Pub Bombings Memorial by Anuradha Patel outside Grand Central

It was unveiled in 21-11-2018, 44 years afte the pub bombings on New Street at The Mulberry Bush and Tavern in the Town, which claimed the lives of 21 innocent victims. Memorial services held annually after 8pm in the evening. In 1000 Trades Square (Birmingham New Street Station), opposite the Bullring near St Martin's Queensway. The memorial is closer to the location of the bombings than the other memorial stone in Cathedral Square (Birmingham Cathedral).

The Birmingham Pub Bombings Memorial at Grand Central by Anuradha Patel.  Photography by Daniel Sturley


John F. Kennedy Memorial

The original JFK Memorial was erected at St Chad's Circus in 1968 by Kenneth Budd. After St Chad's was redeveloped in 2006-7 it was destroyed. Kenneth's son, Oliver Budd was commissioned to recreate it in Digbeth near the Custard Factory during 2012-13. Both were for the Birmingham Irish Community. John Fitzgerald Kennedy was elected 35th President of the United States in November 1960, served less than one term from January 1961 until his assassination on the 22nd November 1963 in Dallas, Texas, USA.

JFK MemorialJohn F. Kennedy Memorial in Digbeth. Photography by Elliott Brown



At what is now Spitfire Island in Castle Vale is a memorial sculpture to the thousands of Spitfire planes built nearby at the Castle Bromwich Aerodrome during the Second World War (1939-45). That site is now the Jaguar Land Rover Castle Bromwich car factory. The sculpture made in 2000 by Tim Tolkien (a grand-nephew of the author J. R. R. Tolkien).

SentinelSentinel - Spitfire Island, Castle Vale (November 2023). Photography by Elliott Brown


Street Art

Birmingham is a city with some amazing street art from some amazing street artists. Here is a selection.  


'Forward in Unity' by Gent-48 (An Art4Charity commission) in Digbeth

This was in the beer garden of Norton's Digbeth on Meriden Street from July 2020 until about August 2023, when Gent 48 replaced it with an image of King Kong!

'Forward in Unity' by Gent 48.  Photography by FreeTimePays.


Judge Dredd by SP0:076, Epod9000 and Jake Steele in Digbeth

Zellig Car Park Digbeth - Judge Dredd.  Photography by Elliott Brown


Past Public Art

Examples of public art the City has displayed in the past


'Knife Angel' (2019) by Alfie Bradley

The 'Knife Angel' by Alfie Bradley came to the city in 2019.  Photography by Daniel Sturley


Minimum Monument by Nele Azevedo (2016)

Ice sculptures by Nele Azevedo was part of the Minimum Monument event for WW1 remembrance in Chamberlain Sq (2016).  Photography by Daniel Sturley


Inflatable Paintbrush for 'City of Colours' Festival (2014)

Inflatable Paintbrush as Part of the 'City of Colours' Street Art Festival (August 2014). Photography by Daniel Sturley


'Hares' (2019)

Barry Flanagan's bronze sculpture called 'Hares' back in 2019.  Photography by Daniel Sturley


Forward Together (2021)

During the Covid pandemic, this bronze sculpture was made by artist Luke Perry. It was placed in Victoria Square in July 2021, and was supposed to be there for 12 months. But by October 2021, it was relocated to Colmore Square ahead of the Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market. There it remained throughout 2022, until it was relocated again in 2023 to Aston Hall & Park.

Forward TogetherForward Together in Victoria Square (July 2021). Photography by Elliott Brown


Forward TogetherForward Together at Aston Hall & Park (April 2024). Photography by Elliott Brown


King Kong (1972)

The  King Kong statue was at the old Bull Ring Shopping Centre in Manzoni Gardens back in 1972 for a short period of time. It was moved around the city to various locations, before moving to Edinburgh in Scotland in 1976. In 2005 it was moved to Penrith, then by 2016 it was in Leeds. Since 2017 it has been in Cumbria, but is unlikely to ever return to Birmingham. Designed by Nicholas Monro (1936 - 2022). 

King KongKing Kong at Manzoni Gardens at the Bull Ring, 1972 from the Birmingham Mail archives


King Kong (2022)

King Kong is back and bigger than ever! Great Hampton Row, King Kong Park. 22nd July - 8th August 2022. He was there until at least the autumn of 2022. But as of 2023 he is no longer in Birmingham.

King Kong on Great Hampton Row (July 2022). Photography by Elliott Brown


But there is a Maquette of King Kong on display at Wolverhampton Art Gallery! Which was also created by the late Nicholas Monro.

King KongKing Kong Maquette in Wolverhampton Art Gallery (August 2023). Photography by Elliott Brown



More to come!

This feature with contributions from our growing growing community of people who share passions will grow to include posts, links, maps, photography, trails and even drone and VR footage to come.

Enjoy with us as it grows. 



For a full list of Public Art in Birmingham, check out the List of Public Art in Birmingham on Wikipedia, edited by Elliott Brown (and others) over the years.

Project dates

23 Jan 2021 - On-going


Art; Culture & creativity


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Jonathan Bostock

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