The new Library of Birmingham opened its doors in September and it was the choice for the month’s Birmingham Viewpoint subject to photograph. I know that the new building is loved by some and hated by others…another ‘Marmite’ piece of architecture. As a photographer and artist I loved it from the outside and now I’ve been inside I still think the same.
As I was heading off for two weeks holiday from 21st September I didn’t have as much time as usual to devote to the project. I left it rather late to make my first visit to the library on 18th, but I still took lots of shots. When I came to review them I found that making the correct choice for submission was going to be quite difficult. However, I made the decision and submitted this picture.On the day I visited the light was perfect for getting a reflection shot in the glass frontage of Symphony Hall and ICC. I submitted this image and was almost ready to go on holiday when I discovered the photo by Chris Payne in the March submissions for Birmingham Viewpoint. Although that month’s subject was the Town Hall, Chris had submitted a shot that was almost identical to the one I’d taken. So, rather than being accused of plagiarism, I decided to submit another image, which was an updated image of an idea I’d had a few months earlier when I was trying to get a shot of the library without the boarding that was surrounding it at that time.
This is the one I resubmitted and I was pleased to see that no-one else submitted a similar image. I’m particularly fond of this shot because it encompasses the new and the old, without which the Library of Birmingham would not have been possible. Indeed, the city of Birmingham would not have grown to become the hub of the Industrial Revolution without the efforts of James Watt, Matthew Boulton and William Murdoch, subjects of the golden statue that currently stands on Broad Street.
If you clicked on the link in the opening paragraph you would have seen the record breaking 35 images submitted. I’ve been submitting images since the second edition of Birmingham Viewpoint and hopefully this will be the time when it becomes the ‘go to’ place for images of Birmingham.