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New mural celebrates arrival of Commonwealth Games in Birmingham

The Heart of England Community Rail Partnership (CRP) has proud unveiled a new mural at Birmingham International Station to mark the arrival of the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

The artwork has been installed as part of the Avanti West Coast-funded project ‘Careers, Creativity and the Commonwealth’, and celebrates Birmingham hosting the event, which takes place from July 28 to August 8.

Leamington-based Lord Numb, from Brink Contemporary Arts, was commissioned to design an inspirational and eye-catching mural for people travelling to Commonwealth Games events by train and arriving at Birmingham International. In addition, the CRP wanted to improve the station environment, support local artists, showcase contemporary street art, engage local schools, and have a piece of art that represents how the railways connect communities.

Using the current Avanti locomotive graphics as a starting point for inspiration, the mural concept aims to embody a subtle sense of movement. Future transport and infrastructure developments are implied by angular shapes and forms, and the spectrum of colours reference the varied national flags of the Commonwealth countries. There is also the use of blue as a contextual hint to the Coventry City of Culture 2021.

When viewed from above, the low wall mural is seen like a railway network, with movement. The notion is that passengers see it at speed as they arrive, and in reverse when departing. The design also includes a nine square chequered flag motif to hint at the City of Culture, and a nod to the two-tone music movement that started in Coventry.

Julia Singleton-Tasker, community rail partnership officer at Heart of England CRP, said: “The mural brings life to an otherwise functional space and will be used engage with schools based on the Coventry – Birmingham Line. Along with Lord Numb, the CRP will be developing lesson plans that encourage students to see stations as destinations in themselves, and we will give them the opportunity to visit the mural before creating their own designs based on the theme of connections.”

You can read more about the Heart of England CRP on their website, here.