Fairytales of the Spaghetti Junction
and other urban myths...
Birmingham's Spaghetti Junction is legendary in its status as a sprawling traffic interchange that dominates the town's aerial landscape. Over the years it has become a source of mockery for the city: tarnished as an eyesore of brutalism and epicentre of pollution. However, it has also inspired a deep sense of fascination, perhaps even fondness, for some of us who have grown up in its shadow.
Seen from below, the towering cylinders of the Spaghetti Junction take on the appearance of the monumental pillars of a Greek Temple. They provoke a sense of awe, and connect to a landscape pregnant with history and memory. Beneath its cold steel and concrete appearance lies a world of natural wonder. It is here that the confluence of the River Tame, Aston Brook and River Rea occurs: an ancient meeting of waterways. A Victorian canal network also flows between the looming concrete columns, and nature proliferates along its towpaths and tunnels.
The world beneath the Spaghetti Junction is the stuff of fairytales: fecund with dark enchantment. With this in mind, this suite of drawings reflects the wonderstruck reverence that can be felt in the presence of this mystical and exceptional place; with echoes and inspiration also drawn from other neglected corners of the urban landscape.
'You belong among the wildflowers', (digital drawing), 2021
'In the bleak midwinter', (digital drawing), 2019
'As the nights draw in' (digital drawing), 2018
'Almost home' (digital drawing), 2021
'Spaghettidelic', (digital drawing), 2015
'The Last of England' (digital drawing), 2016
'Where did all the wildflowers go?' (pen & ink), 2014
'Run rabbit run' (pen & ink) 2014
An ode to the incredible street art of the artist ROA who painted this glorious hare on the side of "The Premises" Recording Studio in Hackney Rd.
In memory of Julia, who saved it.