FORGET red carpets and cutting ribbons, Birmingham’s ArtsFest will open with a pigeon liberation in Victoria Square.
The event will be taking place next Friday (September 11). The flock of birds will be carrying message tubes containing pieces of art and an exhibition will start when the first pigeon is clocked back into the loft in Floodgate Street, Digbeth.
Project Pigeon will take our ancient messengers into the 21st century, as they will be the bearers of mini banners, sound files and artwork contained on USB sticks. Prior to the festival opening, more birds will be simultaneously released at various locations around the country, including London and Cambridge. The loft exhibition will be open thoughout the festival weekend.
The artists involved, Alexandra Lockett and Ian England, have been researching the project for over a year, and are now pigeon enthusiasts themselves.
Alexandra said: “We are keen to raise people’s awareness of these amazing animals - they have been used thoughout history for people to communicate across long distances and have saved thousands of lives, particularly in the two World Wars.”
Coun Martin Mullaney, cabinet member for leisure, sport and culture said: “Birmingham has a thriving artistic community, and projects such as this really demonstrate the creativity and original thinking that such a community can produce. ArtsFest is a great platform for emerging artists.”
With everything from steel art to opera, cutting edge theatre to bhangra dance, ArtsFest is now among the highlights of Birmingham City Council’s annual events calandar.
For more information go to www.artsfest.org.uk or contact the ArtsFest team on 0121 464 5678.