Architect-turned-photographer to stage first exhibition at Bar Opus

The man who helped to drive city centre redevelopment in Birmingham has joined forces with Bar Opus, the leading independent city bar, to stage an exhibition of his photographs.

Philip Singleton’s Pause Project, which features 12 images of buildings that are in a state of transition, is the third art exhibition that the bar at One Snowshill has showcased this year in support of local talent.

Philip, the former CEO of Millennium Point and assistant director of city centre development at Birmingham City Council, is studying for a Masters in photography at the Falmouth University Institute of Photography and says he is looking forward to unveiling his atmospheric images on September 20th.

With a background in architecture and urban development, Philip says his interest in photography grew out of considering the architectural metamorphosis across the city.

“Birmingham has to be one of the most rapidly changing cities in the country and is a master at reinventing itself,” he said. “I wanted to capture and document what is happening and have been able to gain access to spaces that are private or hidden away. These aren’t architectural studies; instead, I’ve focused on another layer of the empty, melancholic spaces that people leave behind.”

The photographs include an empty cell in Steelhouse Lane police station; the safe deposit boxes in the former Municipal Bank in Broad Street; the industrial units at Icknield Port Loop; and the BCU Conservatoire, which has been demolished to make way for the new Paradise development.

To further cement the exhibition’s connection to the city, Philip used Digbeth-based photographic developers Palm Laboratories and framers Harris Moore to create the exhibition.

“Bar Opus has given me a tremendous opportunity to exhibit my work and it has been incredibly generous in its support,” said Philip. “It’s great that a high-quality independent business in the city is helping emerging local artists and I’m excited to have my works exhibited there in the Colmore BID.”

Irene Allen, director, said:

“2017 has been a transformational year for us as we’ve sought to bring the work of local artists into Bar Opus. We’ve enjoyed giving a platform to some incredible artists and our last exhibition of the year is another fascinating study, documenting spaces that we don’t normally see. We’ve no doubt that they’ll be a real talking point for our customers.”

Since the beginning of the year, Bar Opus has showcased the work of internationally renowned artist Sophie Hedderwick, art from Birmingham-born innovators Key & Tam, the creative duo behind LOWLFE, and Birmingham artist and owner of Disorder Boutique Mark Howard.

For more information on Bar Opus, visit www.baropus.co.uk

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