At Bullring & Grand Central, we have a whole host of public art around the centre which is free for everyone to enjoy. From historical sculptures to modern masterpieces, all our art pieces are completely unique. Why not follow our art trail list next time you’re in centre and see which pieces you can find!
Perhaps the most famous of all our art pieces is our beloved Bullring Bull. Declared one of the world’s top pieces of public art, Laurence Broderick designed the bull back in 2003 and the statue was unveiled to a huge crowd on 4th September.
Our bull has been named the 7th most photographed landmark in the world and he loves to get dressed up to celebrate special occasions throughout the year! He even has his own twitter account. Do you follow him?
The Bullring Bull weighs in at a whopping 5 tonnes – the same as an average African elephant! He has become a true Brummy landmark and is a real symbol of the pride we have for our city.
The Rotunda Recess
Our shoppers love Zara, but have you spotted the abstract sculpture up on the second floor? This little-known gem is one of our favourites and was designed by John Poole, a local artist.
This area used to be the Lloyds banking hall and the section of the sculpture that you can see now is actually just the top!
Grand Central Rail Map
Have you seen our blue panels in Grand Central? At first glance, it’s just a pretty pattern behind our welcome sign, but when you look more closely, you can see the dots are all joined together with thin lines. These represent the train lines which connect our centre to the rest of the city.
Did you know that a meteorite fell in Natan, China in 1516? 484 years later on the night of 26th March 2000, it fell from the skies again landing here in Bullring!
Artist Cornelia Parker put together a spectacular firework display which took place at the top of our Rotunda building. The fireworks included tiny fragments of the meteorite which produced an amazing meteorite shower! Our plaques were installed to mark the fourth anniversary of the display.
Have you ever spotted the very special art bricks, embedded into the walls of Bullring by Smallbrook Queensway?
These unique pieces of art were part of a community project, where local workshops encouraged school children to create images relating to the development of the centre. 650 bricks were produced in total and used in the fabric of the building.
Our copper tree in St Martin’s Square is not just an average sculpture! It was created by artist Wolfgang Buttress and was made out of the reclaimed copper roof from the old Spiral Café, which was removed to make room for a new row of restaurants, including Jamie’s Italian and Wagamama.
The sculpture was inspired by the philosophical question “if a tree falls in a forest and no-one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”
The water feature at the end of Spiceal Street is engraved with a poem by artists Polarbear and Simon Turner. “Everything Happens Here” describes a busy, bustling city full of commuters, workers and buskers living harmoniously side by side.
On the other side of the water feature, lyrics from UB40’s “Sing Our Own Song” are engraved along the wall. UB40 formed in Birmingham in 1978 and the band members began as friends who know each other from various schools across the city.
The statue of Nelson at the end of Spiceal Street was the very first statue of Horatio Nelson to be produced in Britain. Made in 1802 by famous Victorian sculptor Richard Westmacott, the statue was unveiled over 200 years ago on 25th October 1809, which is said to have been the official golden jubilee of George III.
Nelson stands in uniform, with a miniature HMS Victory ship by his side. The statue weighs 5 tonnes and is made entirely from bronze.
The design of our iconic Selfridges building was based on an iconic blue sequined dress from Paco Rabanne. The 15,000 aluminium disks represent the sequins of the dress and the building itself is two thirds of the size of the entire old Bullring. Selfridges light up the outside of the building in different colours for very special occasions. Have you the bright green lights for St Patrick’s Day?
Abstract Glass Artwork
This contemporary glass mural was designed by artist Martin Donlin. At first glance, you may not be sure what you’re looking at, but this piece is actually an abstract representation of Bullring itself!
Our light wands bring a flash of colour to the forecourt of Rotunda Square. These huge carbon fibre masts are made from materials typically used to build yachts and can withstand winds up to force 9! The wands represent growth and each silver piece is shaped like a leaf.
Spiceal Street Quotes
Take a walk down Spiceal Street on a sunny day and you’ll see a number of quotes engraved into the walls. These quotes have snippets of information about the centre and the city. Our favourite is the Rotunda quote reading; “Rotunda, some wanted to square, you are still round still there.”