This fascinating walk shows you some of the amazing graffiti art around Digbeth in Birmingham. The walk starts and ends at Moor St train station (though pick it up wherever!), and is 4 km (3 miles) long. There are cafes and bars along the route to take a break, especially around the Custard Factory, and the Bullring shopping centre is always very close by.
Unfortunately, graffiti art can disappear when new developments take place so if you can’t find a piece, please let us know and we will see if we need to revise the route (it may just be hidden from view behind something!) We will also add great new pieces from time to time!
Starting at Moor Street Station, and facing the main entrance to the station, turn right/south to head towards the corner with Selfridges department store opposite you.
Turn left around this corner and head down past Selfridges. At the corner, turn left into the tunnel. As soon as you exit the tunnel turn right into Shaw’s Passage. Walk past the Digbeth Community Garden on your left and at the end, turn left into Allison St.
Walk to the end of Allison St and turn right into Bordesley St. As you walk along Bordesley St, look out for your first bit of graffiti on your right hand side (map position 1). This is by the artist #philthblake (https://www.instagram.com/philthblake/?hl=en).
On the corner of Bordesley St and Meriden St you will see the corner building covered in a large graffiti mural by the artist #graffitiartist aka panda.
Continue along Bordesley St, cross over Meriden St, and on your left on the corner with New Canal St is a car park with several pieces of graffiti art. One of the best is the following one by #Annatomix.
Previously a musician, sound engineer and occasional illustrator, Annatomix (http://www.annatomix.com) decided to make art her full time endeavour in 2010. Starting from a natural leaning toward geometry and traditional graphic design, she has spent the last 6 years developing her style and narrative, and produced her first solo show in London, in February 2015. She creates symbolic, modernist works – inspired by philosophy, theology, mathematics and science fiction – and has become particularly well known for her large scale murals, distinctive polygonal animals and geometric patterns.
Continue along Bordesley St, past Oxford St, and turn right into Trent St. Go under the railway arches, then turn left into Coventry St. There are several pieces of graffiti art along Coventry St, one of our favourites is this small one by #newso on the left hand side of the road as you head towards Milk St (map position 2).
Dan Newso #Newso48 http://www.newso.co.uk/) paints work combining figurative with abstract content in a glitch or implied collage style. His work is painted on compressed cement board to give the feeling of a painting on a concrete wall. He paints commissioned artwork and murals in varied styles to suit clients needs; he works internationally and he received Arts Council funding for an international development project working in Perth, Western Australia and Hong Kong. Since 2008 he has been well known in Birmingham’s post-industrial creative quarter Digbeth, painting murals in public spaces. This work has largely been self funded and has been a process of getting to know the community to open up spaces to paint.
Turn left into Milk St, and walk up under the arches where again you will find several pieces of art, including this one:
Continue along Milk St then turn right into Little Ann St. On the corner at the end of Little Ann St (map position 3) you will find the following graffiti art showing the location of 12 of Digbeth’s food and drink venues by the artist Andrew Mills aka #title, known as ‘The Digbeth Dozen’. New Birmingham bar The Ruin unveiled this mural-style map to highlight the area’s diverse food and drink offering.
At the end of Little Ann St turn right into Floodgate St. There is some fantastic graffiti art to be found underneath the arches here but don’t worry, we will come back to these later on in the walk! For now, continue down Floodgate St admiring many of the following pieces until you come to the first road on your right, Moore’s Row.
Turn right to pop into Moore’s Row and walk along to the first corner where on your right you will see this lovely piece by the artist #sepr (it may be hidden behind large wheelie bins!).
Shaun Sepr (https://twitter.com/shaunsepr?lang=en) is a Bristol based artist & drummer. Part of ASK & KTF Crews and the Jacknife Gig Poster Collective, tattoo apprentice at Holey Skin Studio and a drummer in Olanza & Fuk.
Turn around and head back to Floodgate St, turn right to carry on along that street until you reach the main road B4100 Rea St/High St Deritend (map position 4). Turn left onto this road and walk into the car park you will come to on your left. There is a lot of fantastic graffiti in here, including the following:
Come back out of the car park and turn left to continue up B4100 Rea St/High St Deritend until you come to Gibb St and the pedestrianised road leading into the Custard Factory development. Turn left onto Gibb St and head up towards the Custard Factory where you will find lots of graffiti (map position 5) – look around every nook and cranny as much of it is just off the road behind the back of buildings! You can find all the following pieces here near the oval pond.
The piece above rises several stories high up the side of one of the buildings, and is by Dan Kitchener (https://www.dankitchener.com/street-art-murals). This following piece is on the wall behind some multi-coloured bike racks!
It is by #0707art (https://www.0707art.com/). 0707 is an Italian visual artist based in London. The common theme of his work are human beings, and the interaction between them. Late 2012, 0707 started his career as a street artist in Rome, Italy without any artistic or academic background. His first approach in the street art world was representing unconventional human beings on street elements such as road signs, wooden panels and letterboxes. The colorful portraits were created adopting a multilayer stencil technique, transforming the street element into a canvas. In 2013 he started the “This is a Good Kiss spot” project, involving the audience and creating a worldwide network of volunteers to spread the message across five continents adopting the sticker, a common tool in street art, to make it viral. The project is still ongoing, with over one hundred volunteers involved so far in 87 countries. He moved to the UK and in London in 2014 he started a series of new experimental portraits on the street.
The piece above is by graffiti artist #art_srx (http://shopsrx.tictail.com/), a spanish street artist, now based in London. After following several Arts degrees, he started to bring his ideas to the street, trying to get city people to stop, think or just smile for a moment when they saw his work, briefly forgetting their daily routine. Some of his inspirational themes are pop culture, mass media, or publicity, which he normally gives expression to through a combination of painting and stencils. His creations are often wrapped in a distinct tone of irony and social criticism, frequently shrouded by a veil of sharp humor and surrealism. In addition to his work in the streets, he likes to experiment with mixing street art techniques and more traditional elements such as acrylics and oil on wood panels in his studio, bringing his canvas creations one step forward with a more polished and elaborated process.
The piece above is by artist #N4T4 (https://www.facebook.com/n4t4art/) a Midlands based artist using spraypaint since 1986 (editors note Sep 2018: this appears to have now been lost to the ravages of time!). The one below is also by N4T4 created for the High Vis Fest 2018:
Andrew ‘Title’ Mills created this huge spray painting, under one of the railway arches. The artwork, which covers 6.5 x 3.5 meters and took over 35 hours to spray paint, has been produced to encapsulate Odeon cinema’s long-lasting connection to the city of Birmingham along with some of the greatest moments in Birmingham’s film history, stretching from the 1930’s to the present day. It depicts Birmingham actors from the Star Wars films including the late Kenny Baker who appears as the iconic R2D2, and Felicity Jones from Bournville who appears as her movie character Jyn Erso. It also includes a portrait of Odeon’s founder, Oscar Deutsch, who was born in the Balsall Heath area of Birmingham in 1893 and who opened his first modern, art-deco inspired Odeon cinema in Perry Barr in 1930. There is also a reference to The Beatles – portraying John Lennon and Paul McCartney – who performed at the Odeon in December 1965; and what appears to be a tribute to local surrealist painter Conroy Maddox, who was often described as ‘The Bohemian from Balsall Heath”. The lower section of the mural features the Birmingham skyline with iconic buildings such as the Rotunda, the church of St. Martin in the Bullring, the Selfridges building, and Birmingham Central Mosque. (source iambirmingham.co.uk). See more about Adnrew at http://graffitibytitle.com/artists-profile/
This art above can be found on one of the walls under the arches towards the back of the Custard Factory complex. It is by #hullgraffiti (https://www.facebook.com/HullGraffiti4hire/), a professional graffiti artist with over 20 years of experience, creating bespoke artwork. Look up and you will see a small piece by #imwatching showing the late David Bowie around here too!
Above is a great use of satellite dishes to incorporate into the art! Head to your left/west into the car park area under the arches that will link you back to Floodgate St (map position 6). There is a treasure trove of graffiti art in this area, so make sure you look around every nook and cranny! The following are some of the pieces to be found:
This is a wonderful piece hidden away at the back of an alcove by the artist Justin Sola (https://www.justinsola.com/). Justin is a British artist, illustrator and designer living and working in Birmingham. Some of his work consists of trend based iconic subjects, while others are personal explorations converted into visual ideas. Portraiture has a large presence in his work. Justin’s process is a mix of observational study with his own interpretations and imagination. Some work is produced purely by hand, some is produced to be fused with digital elements and lighting. Justin has produced a variety of work including video game covers, posters, apparel design and illustration, artwork and design for the music and club industry, art exhibitions, artist series skateboard illustration and editorial illustration.
The following works did used to be in this car park area, but as of Sep 2018 now appear to be no more – a real shame!:
Once you’re through the arches and back out onto Floodgate Street, turn right to walk up Floodgate St. Before you reach the end at Fazeley St, you will pass these great pieces of graffiti, as well as a few others:
Turn right into Fazeley St. (map position 7) then right again into Heath Mill Lane. Take the first left into Allcock St and turn first right into Hack St (map position 8). On the corner here you will find some great pieces of art like the one below by #goldenboy_924 and #philthblake (https://www.instagram.com/philthblake/?hl=en):
Continue along Hack St around to the right where it turns into Bromley St. At the end turn left onto Heath Mill Lane. As you pass the car park on your left (map position 9) pop in here to see a large selection of large graffiti wall murals all around the edge of the car park, including the following:
However, the following two pieces have been painted over and lost as at Sep 2018:
This mural above at the entrance to the car park is by #kid30shrunkenheads (http://kid30.smallkid.co.uk/). Prolific midlands based artist kid30 (smallkid) has been painting graffiti for well over a decade. He is well known for his cleanly painted bold characters. His unique and instantly recognisable bold style are prominent on the streets of the UK, and have been seen as far afield as Melbourne, Toronto and Barcelona. Kid30 is also a member of the highly regarded Oxygen Thieves crew and Shrunken Heads continuing to push himself by bringing his style to new areas of design, working not just on walls, but also on maps, canvas, wood and found objects. Kid30 endeavours to promote the value of the art form throughout outlets such as commissions, murals, youth workshops and exhibitions. Recent clients have included: Kingsmill hospital, Detonate promotions, Raleigh Bikes, Red bull, Game City, Glastonbury festival, V festivals, Big Chill, Rock City, Stealth , Nottingham City and County Council, Size?, The Golden Fleece, Trent University and various clubs, shops and bars in and around the Midlands.
Come back out of the car park and turn left back onto Heath Mill Lane. .Take the first left onto Lower Trinity Street and walk up here to the corner with Adderley Street Map position 10). Once again you will find yourself spoilt for choice along here with some stunning graffiti art including the following:
This piece is a collaboration between #werdnamyl, #mrchristamyl and #itaewonamyl all of the Made You Look Collective (https://www.facebook.com/madeyoulookcollective). Andrew Hulme (#werdnamyl https://www.andrewwerdna.com/ ) is a freelance illustrator based in London currently working on a variety of commissions for a range of clients. A graduate of Manchester School of Arts in 2015 with a first class honours degree in illustration. Werdna is the founder and member of the Made You Look Collective (MYL). Working in a variety of mediums including print, paint and wood.
Jake Attewell (#itaewonmyl https://www.itaewon.gallery/ ) envelops his audience in his imaginary compositions using a delicate balance of colourful arrangements combined with geometric line work and broken perspective. His style distinguishes sound, light, movement, and power. A fascination with the macro and delicate structures in nature led him to explore the beauty of natural intelligence. His paintings touch on a range of themes including Sci-Fi, otherworldly landscapes, micro-cosmic structures and energetic overflowing biological forms. At 13, he moved to South Korea, where he began painting on the streets and in studio. Seoul was his main inspiration, which moulded his his loud and energetic abstract style. His name was taken from the area of the city in which he spent nights painting and skating. Upon returning to the UK he settled in London where he now resides.
This portrait of Muhammed Ali is by the artist #akse_p19. Akse is a French Graffiti Artist of Vietnamese origins based in Manchester UK since 1997. Akse started painting in 1992 and became a member of the P19 Crew (founded by Pest) in 1993. Although Akse started writing Letters, he quickly specialised in Characters. Over the last few years Akse has focused on freehand High-Definition HD photo-realism graffiti portraits.
This piece is by #juliayubaba (http://yu-baba.com/about) a Belarusian female mural artist who currently lives and works in New York, USA. Studying art since childhood Yu-baba graduated from the faculty of Architecture in Minsk, Belarus. She primarily began focusing on creating mural art in 2013. Since that time, Yu-baba has grown and evolved within her career as a mural artist. Yu-baba continues to balance her love of painting large-scale public artworks with creation of canvases. Her works have been exhibited in galleries in Germany, Mexico and USA.
As you reach the corner turn right onto Adderley St. On this corner you will find several large pieces by #brokenfingaz as follows:
#BrokenFingaz (https://brokenfingaz.com/) is one of Israel’s only existing graffiti collectives. Originally from Haifa, the four-man clan, formed in 2001, created the first generation of graffiti artists in the city. Inspired by nudity and comic book gore, the crew had „this urge to do something illegal“!
As you walk down Adderley St towards the B4100 Rea St/High St Deritend you will pass more large scale wall art such as the following:
This large scale mural above is by #keydetail (http://www.keydetail.org/). KEY DETAIL is a Belarusian artist who studied Architecture in Minsk, Belarus, now works with painting, drawing and illustrations and currently lives and works in New York, US. Growing up in Minsk, KEY DETAIL has been active on the street art scene since 2000s. His art is a balanced concentration of emotional reflections on reality transformed by the prism of surreal interpretation. Every character has charisma and outstanding personality, living in their own environment rich with elaborate details. He focuses on creating huge outdoor murals and canvases his artworks have been featured in a number of international magazines and books.
Turn right onto B4100 Rea St/High St Deritend, walk along a short distance and you will come to a car park on your right hand side (map position 11). Head in here to see lots of amazing art. The photo below is a close-up of a wonderful piece you will find in here.
This incredible abstract tiger can also be found in the car park and is by #graffoflarge, or Steve Edwards (https://graffoflarge.com/). Graffoflarge is the fusion of camouflage into graffiti. Originally Steve started out as a pattern master, eventually crossing over into abstract street art. A chance commission by the Dulux ‘Lets Paint’ project of a Tiger led to a change in direction and influence. Since then Steve has continued to paint creatures/animals in his own unique style. He have worked for various councils and authorities, including British Waterways, Dudley Zoo, Banks’s brewery, Wolverhampton Art Gallery and Creative Black Country to name a few. Steve also works with an ever expanding network of primary schools, delivering his own unique hands on workshops. Not many artists offer the chance for kids to actually use spray paint on the murals themselves!
Head back out of the car park and turn right back onto B4100 Rea St/High St Deritend and follow this all the way down towards the Bullring and St Martin’s Church.
Just before you get there, on the corner of Allison St, you will see some hoardings over an empty shop by the artist Dan Kitchener:
If you wish to head back to Moor St train station just keep following the B4100, first round to the right, then round to the left, around the outside of Selfridges. Alternatively, head into Birmingham City Centre by the Selfridges and the Bullring shopping centre.
Overview of Route:
Map details © OpenStreetMap contributors
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