Following a successful temporary Arts Trail in 2015, Handsworth Creative is developing a permanent Arts Trail in Handsworth Park. 

Handsworth Park Arts Trail was created over three years and introduced new innovative pieces of public art into the beautiful setting of Handsworth Park.

The Arts Trail was officially launched by distinguished local photographer, Vanley Burke on 6th October 2017. Artists were selected following an open commission and members of the local community and school children were involved in the design of the pieces of art. The Arts Trail also includes other existing pieces of art in Handsworth Park.

The Handsworth Park Arts Trail will lead to the creation of six new pieces of public art over the course of three years. In addition there will be series of smaller, temporary arts pieces which will be mounted on the Plinth (retained after the Big Hoot in 2015) which is situated by the Boathouse Café.

Commissioned artists (please see artist brief here), will be working with local schools or community groups in the design of the art works, and each year’s pieces will be developed following an annual open commission, and chosen by a selection panel. 

The selection panel includes representatives from Friends of Handsworth Park, Birmingham City Council and Handsworth Creative.

Perry Barr Arts Forum has been involved in helping promote the project to local artists and facilitating partnerships with local schools and community organisations. The robustness, durability and suitability of the art work for installation in Handsworth Park are important criteria for the selection of the artists and designs, but of course we are principally concerned to bring original and entertaining art pieces to Handsworth. We are very grateful for funding from The Arts Council England (ACE), Birmingham City Council, and the National Lottery

The Handsworth Park Arts Trail also worked alongside the Aston and Newtown Commissioning Programme project ‘Veranda Stories’, involving older people from Pannel Croft Extra Care Village, Bangladeshi women from Saathi House and attendees from the Dementia Café at Soho House.

Featured on the trail

Veranda Stories - PYRAMID TOWER

The Pyramid Tower was based on the theme of Journeys. Pauline and Ola worked with the woman participants over a number of months to facilitate an exploration of their journeys. The mandalas were adapted by Pauline to produce the designs for the four-sided Pyramid Tower in 2017, which had a meditative quality to it when standing or sitting underneath and viewing the sky through the patterns win the roof of the pyramid.

The SS Journey

SS Journey is a representation of the bow on a ship with a passenger looking into the distance and to their future. The piece was inspired by the journey made by artist Luke Perry’s family friends who made the epic sea crossing from Jamaica to Handsworth in the 1960s, however it speaks to everyone who has come from other parts of Britain or further afield and chosen to make Handsworth their home.


The Memory Chest

The Memory Chest was created in 2018, the anniversary of the end of the First World War and was informed by workshop activities that explored ideas around stories and letters sent home from the Trenches. Participants also explored personal stories and memories and they designed and created their own individual memory chests that represented their ‘symbolic treasures’. Discussions from these workshops informed the final design of the Memory Chest Pauline Bailey created for the Arts Trail

Sons of Rest Mosaic

The Sons of Rest Mosaic was commissioned to commemorate the centenary of the end of the First World War in 2018. It celebrates the Sons of Rest Movement that was founded in Handsworth Park by veterans in 1927 and spread across the West Midlands leading to 36 Sons of Rest Buildings being created in local parks.