An exhibition of a series of photographs by Tim Cornbill will be held as part of this year’s LA:B Love Architecture Birmingham Festival. The festival runs from the 21st – 30th June and is organised by the Birmingham Architectural Association in collaboration with the RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects). The photographs will be exhibited in the Great Western Arcade with a supplemental display in the Atrium of The Cube.
The project compares the historical architecture of Birmingham with its modern day locations. It offers an insight into how the urban fabric of Birmingham changed during the twentieth century, documenting the city’s lost architectural gems, which were demolished and replaced in the name of progress.
Following a trip to Paris photographing film locations in a similar fashion, Tim realised he could use archive photographs in his home city to discover its historical architecture. Many people have described these series of photos as an architectural ‘Dear Photograph’, referring to a project that uses personal historical photographs in the same style.
The Great Western Arcade was chosen as the prefect venue in which to showcase the Birmingham Retrospective series. It represents one of the last surviving arcades of the 1900s and is a great example of how a stunning piece of classical architecture can be maintained to stand the test of time.
The Evolution of Architecture:
It must be noted that although many of the historical buildings in these photographs were beautiful externally, the sad fact is that many were doomed due to bomb damage, poor maintenance and were also victims of the changing economic needs of a city that was, and still is, constantly growing and regenerating. After all, the motto of Birmingham is of course, “Forward”. To this end, this series of photographs serve as a document of a proud architectural heritage. Even the retrospective photographs taken today will eventually prove to be an insight into an urban realm which will once again have changed. It would be interesting to visit the same locations again in 50 years’ time to observe how they have altered.
About the Photographer:
Tim Cornbill is currently in the final stages of qualification to become an architect, and works at a local practice, Associated Architects, based in The Mailbox. Tim is fascinated by Birmingham and it will always be a city that is close to his heart, even if its desire to progress is often, sadly, at the expense of great pieces of architecture.
Thank you to all the photographers who have kindly agreed to the use of their historical images for Birmingham Retrospective. Without their support this project would not have been possible.
Tim would welcome further contributions of archive photography in order to expand this project, as he has only just scratched the surface in terms of Birmingham’s architectural past.
The photos are on display in the Great Western Arcade from the 22nd to the 30th June, 10am to 4pm Weekends and 12pm to 2pm Weekdays.
There is a private viewing of the exhibition on the 21st June, 6pm to 8pm, which you can register for here: http://birminghamretrospectiveprivateview-eorg.eventbrite.co.uk/
In addition, photographs from the Birmingham Retrospective project are also on public display in The Cube for the duration of the festival 24/7.
Tim is running two walking tours of the lost architecture of Birmingham on the 22nd and 29th at 2pm. There are limited places available for these and you need to register here:
You can also download the Walking Architecture BAApp for your phone to find the locations of many of the buildings featured in Birmingham Retrospective.
Please take a moment to browse http://www.lovearchitecture.org/ to find out about other events taking place across the West Midlands and throughout the UK.
The full compliment of photographs for the project can be viewed here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/polyesterpowdercoated/sets/72157632029778041/