Published on October 7th, 2017 | by Gaelle Finley



The Handsworth Park Arts Trail opened on Friday 6 October 2017 with the unveiling of two new pieces on the theme of Journeys.

The SS Journey, by Luke Perry, is inspired by the migrations to Handsworth made by people from around the world from the 1940s onward.

The piece is cast in bronze and the figure at the bow of the ship is based on famous local community personality, Hector ‘Mr Handsworth’ Pinkney OBE.

Luke Perry is a sculptor, working primarily in metal, and is a Director of Industrial Heritage Stronghold, a company based in the Black Country.

The Arts Trail was formally opened by artists Pauline Bailey and Luke Perry, Mr Handsworth himself, photographer Vanley Burke, Councillors Quinnen and Zaffar, and blessed by Father Bob Stephen and Pastor Desmond Janadoo.





The crowd came in their numbers to witness the unveiling of the artworks, accompanied by Spicy Fingers’ drum.











Luke Perry, Hector Pinkney and Pauline Bailey.

The Pyramid Tower from Veranda Stories, is a galvanized steel tower designed by Birmingham based visual artist Pauline Bailey, in collaboration with the Women’s Sewing Group at Saathi House (partially in celebration of the year of South Asian Arts) who co-designed the mandala patterns.

Elders from Panel Croft Extra Care Village and Pearl’s Memory Café Dementia Group at Soho House also participated in workshop activities.

All three groups shared their stories during the workshop sessions which were designed to address health and wellbeing through the use of storytelling techniques.

Pauline Bailey and family, Hector Pinkney and Father Bob Stephen.

The sculptures are the first two of six new pieces of public art commissioned for Handsworth Park over the course of three years, and there will be fixed lectern style Interpretation Boards next to the two new pieces of art.

In addition, there will be a series of smaller, temporary arts pieces which will be mounted on the Plinth (by Scylla Magda and friends) situated by the Boathouse Café. Commissioned artists will be working with local schools and community groups in the design of the artworks, and each year’s pieces will be developed following an annual open commission, and chosen by a selection panel.

See recent articles published in Inside Handsworth: Handsworth Park, beautiful all year round – Handsworth Park Arts Trail – Friends of Handsworth Park – Community garden opens.

Apologies for being absent: Jan Kimber who was recovering from pneumonia, and the Sun Bear who was fundraising for the Children’s Hospital.

Handsworth Creative’s website will have detailed information about the Arts Trail, up-to-date news as the Arts Trail evolves, and announcements about next year’s commissioning process and theme.
See: http://www.handsworthcreative.com/hpat, and Handsworth Park Arts Trail on Facebook.

Email: handsworth.park.arts.trail@hotmail.com




While visiting the park, why not look around for more artwork?






See their location on the map:

Map: Hunt Emerson.

Photos: Gaelle Finley, John O’Meara.



About the Author


  1. Gaelle Finley says:

    Thank you (I was trying to remember your advice – just keep three…)

  2. Valerie Powell says:

    Sorry mispelling of my name

  3. Value Powell says:

    Why was this not given more publicity I never heard anything about this I am sure a lot of local folks would agree not even a press release???Hector is a long standing greatly admired local figure and I am sure if this was well advertised maby more locals would have turned out in force!!!

    Very disappointed local resident

    • Gaelle Finley says:

      I cannot comment on the general publicity but it had been advertised in Inside Handsworth.

      • Dee Manning says:

        I have lived in Handsworth over 25 years I am an artist & educator & I saw no publicity about this I would have loved to attended!

        • John OMeara says:

          Hello Dee – given the number of comments about the publicity for the event, I think we need to give some feedback to Perry Barr Arts Forum who I believe were the organisers. As a local resident and artist, where would you have expected to see publicity about an event like this? If others who have commented see this it would be useful to get their response as well.

          best wishes,

          John O’Meara

          • Scylla says:

            Perry Barr Arts Forum are not the organisers of the Handsworth Park Arts Trail, Jan Kimber and Pauline Bailey are, working through Handsworth Creative. I am not aware of anyone being commissioned in a professional marketing capacity to publicise the Handsworth Park Arts Trail, which is what a project of this scale surely needs.

            Perry Barr Arts Forum role in the Handsworth Park Arts Trail is simply to manage a series of temporary artworks on the lakeside plinth as part of the trale. And, as a local arts forum, to distribute information, as we get it, about what arts events are is gong on in the local area.

            As a local artist who occasionally does some freelance / voluntary work for Perry Barr Arts Forum, I did publicise the opening event myself on the PBAF Facebook and Twitter close to the event, although the information to share came very late in the day.

            HPAT did print some leaflets in the week of the event , although I’m not sure how many of these got distributed at such short notice They also emailed out invitations.

            It is a shame that some people didn’t know about the opening – and with an artist of Luke Perry’s renown and the link to local hero ‘Mr Handsworth’ a feature in local press such as the Meto or the Evening mail would have been good, or even some national press.

            None the less , there were was a good turn out at the opening so word must have got around – and the artworks will be there for all to see and enjoy for years to come.

  4. Helen Cross says:

    As a long standing resident of Handsworth I am surprised not to have heard about this before!

    • Gaelle Finley says:

      It had been advertised in Inside Handsworth and in Facebook. I’m not sure about the event’s publicity itself though.

  5. Susan green says:

    Good set of pics.

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