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Field Commissions

Field Commissions is a long term multi-year project in collaboration with Cooking Sections. Working with artists over 12 months, each year-long artistic commission will start with the field and develop a research-led approach to re-imagine the cultural regeneration of a post-industrial city, in relation to empire and heritage.

A landscape image of the Digbeth Branch canal and canal side. The still water of the canal reflects the bright blue of the clear sky. The canal is bordered by dark brick walls and buildings that are covered in bright, scrawling graffiti. The bank of the canalside gently slopes upwards from the path, and holds several bare trees in it's muddy earth.

The Field Commission site, adjacent to Junction Works, Digbeth.

The Field Commissions project stems from a previous project by Cooking Sections and Grand Union, entitled ‘The Empire Remains’. This project worked to support Grand Union’s ambition to make visible the capital re-development of  Junction Works, the future home of Grand Union’s Gallery & Studios. The public programme activated the historical grade II listed former Canal & River Trust Office in Birmingham. Envisioned as a long-term project, the building hosted a rolling programme of installations that aimed to trace and uncover Birmingham’s past and present relationship to Empire.

Located in the Warwick Bar Conservation Area of Birmingham, Junction Works is situated at the intersection of the Grand Union Canal and Digbeth Branch Canal. Once an important example of a purpose-built canal office, the building fell into disrepair and is now derelict; however it retains its strong industrial character and heritage at the heart of post-post industrial Digbeth. Since 1790 it has served a variety of canal transportation and manufacturing purposes, such as confectionary and screw production, the evidence of which can still be identified within the Junction Works site and architecture.