Art is always going to raise discussion, be controversial or gain admiration, but the latest piece of public art in my home city of Birmingham has raised many questions. Being an art lover I appreciate many different forms, from street art, historical art and sculpture. But the latest addition to Birmingham has myself and a large number of others shaking our heads.
The statue depicts a ‘so called’ modern British family using individuals from Birmingham as an example. The aspect of diversity is spot on as the city is home to an array of cultures and religions. But symbolizing single mothers as the modern family is pretty far fetched. Yes there are a large number of single parent homes in the city but there are also homes where fathers are present and a traditional family is actually the norm. The biggest question was why aren’t single fathers ever showcased? I personally know people who have been raised by their fathers, also having friends who are single fathers raising their children. But the thing that has pissed off most people who live here, is that this statue or vision of Birmingham families is another form of bad representation. You see despite some of the breathtaking architecture and redevelopment the city is seeing, we are still finding it hard to shake the stereotypes that are typically placed upon us. Whether its benefit scroungers, uneducated or gang member’s, people feel with this statue you can now add a city full of single mums to the list of stereotypes. Or that our city is full of a bunch of men who can’t hold a family together and bolt leaving women to raise children on their own.
Of all the stupid decisions my local council makes this one seems to be at the top of the list, costing an estimated £100,000 and more importantly giving a stupid representation of the Birmingham communities.
By Gino follow me on twitter @G_Grana