Artist pays tribute to Birmingham wholesale market

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Fred Searle

BY FRED SEARLE

Artist pays tribute to Birmingham wholesale market

Exhibition captures atmosphere of old market site and celebrates its traders ahead of relocation

Artist pays tribute to Birmingham wholesale market

The paintings capture the day-to-day lives of the market's traders
Photo: Danny Howes

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An art exhibition has been unveiled, paying hommage to Birmingham’s historic wholesale market before it moves to a new site after more than 40 years in Pershore Street.

The collection of paintings by artist Danny Howes attempts to capture the emotion and atmosphere of the old city centre site, which will soon close as traders relocate to a new purpose-built site in Witton in the north of the city.

The relocation has been marred by setbacks, related most notably to the implementation of a sprinkler system at the new site leading tenants to threaten to take the council to court for not delivering a market that is fit for purpose.

Howes’ exhibition, which runs from 5-30 September at Birmingham’s Reuben Colley Fine Art gallery, portrays the traders and their customers at work and at rest, haggling over a deal, queuing for a sandwich in the café or sharing a joke among the boxes of vegetables.

“The physical structures of the wholesale market will soon cease to exist, and the trading community faces massive change,” the gallery wrote in a press release. “These paintings celebrate the strength of that community, and the workplace in which relationships have been forged and deals done over the last four decades.”

Howes spent his childhood in the North West and the Midlands, and studied fine art at Leicester’s De Montfort University and the University of Granada in Spain. He now lives and works in Birmingham, drawing inspiration from the diverse population of the city.

He is hoping to undertake further commissions through the Reuben Colley Fine Art gallery.

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