Tuesday, 17 October 2017

This Brummie Artist Went To Market ...

The Birmingham Wholesale Markets have been operating in the city centre for over 850 years. That is a Very Long Time. The picture above was taken over 100 years ago.
But in the new year, they'll be moving to a new site. So a local artist, Danny Howes, decided that the bustling life of the market - which opens at 1am, and does most of its business whilst the rest of us are still asleep - needed to be recorded.
So he went down to the market and observed the people at work, and painted pictures of them going about their trade. I am so pleased he did this - not all the traders are happy about the move, and it is good that they have been recorded for posterity. You can read the full story here - but I wanted to share the pictures, because I think they are great. You can feel the bustle, imagine the banter...


Fish sellers

Fish and Game

Loading up


No Deal

Staff Only

Take Away

Lunch at 8am
These artworks were in an exhibition throughout September- not surprisingly, almost all of them have been sold already.
It seems a very male-dominated environment - not many women in the pictures! But I love the little details - the creases in the jeans, the light reflecting in the tiles and on the stainless steel teapots, the plastic bag of red and green peppers, and the feathers on the game birds hanging up. Danny visited the market 6 times and took over 1000 photographs [everything moved too quickly for him to make sketches, he said] It took between 2 and 3 weeks to complete each canvas [each about 2 foot x 3 foot in size]
Thank you, Danny, for acknowledging this little slice of real life, which is about to change after so long. I hope the workers settle in quickly to the market's new location .


  1. I think he has caught peoples' postures brilliantly.

  2. What a wonderful tribute to such a long tradition! I wonder what they will develop in the space?


Always glad to hear from you - thanks for stopping by!
I am blocking anonymous comments now, due to excessive spam!