Just before your train reaches Birmingham New St. from the north, you run alongside the canal and pass several classic canal bridges and the site of Icknield Port Loop. The Post reports that the plan to develop the main cleared site has just been shelved due to the credit-crunch and the problems at British Waterways.


West Coast Main line and canal, running alongside the cleared site, with trains slowing down to enter/leave the New St. tunnel just ahead.

But I’m wondering if this represents an opportunity for artists to present a series of temporary large works on the cleared site? Such shows would have an assured audience, in the countless people approaching Birmingham on the trains from/to the north. There’s no traffic nearby to distract, so light could be used to dramatic effect and (if structures were tall enough) could reflect in the canal. At the very least, AWM might consider laying the site with wildflower seed turf as a temporary measure, rather than letting it become a mess of scrubby buddliah and weeds for the next three years. What if the 2009 West Midlands Meadow Gallery could be held on this highly visible inner-city site? Perhaps followed by another Festival of Xtreme Building?

Those cycling and walking and boating along the canal would, of course, also be potential audiences. The site is quite walkable, along the towpath, from Brindley Place.