Self Portrait Birmingham

Fri 6th September 2013
Library of Birmingham

The life-blood of a community is its people, and no one knows this better than photographer Brian Homer. Brian is enthusiastic about recording locality through self-portraits, and is giving Birmingham the opportunity to celebrate its homegrown individuals. Brian developed the Birmingham Self Portrait project, with the aim of capturing each Brummie’s personality, and creating a snapshot of contemporary life. The shutter release cable (a remote controlled camera switch) is designed to aid the subject in portraying themselves in the light they desire. His rationale is visible when he says ‘there is a clear difference to the portraits where the photographer remains in control’, wishing for every unique personality to shine, he allows people to be their own photographer.

As one of the crucial figures involved in the Handsworth self portrait project in 1979, Brian’s current version is a direct development of this project on a larger scale. The original images were stored in the city’s Central Library, so it only seems fitting that this modern day re- imagining will be introduced upon the opening of the new Library. New photographs will be taken during the Discovery Festival, and uploaded to big screens so that they can be viewed quickly after being shot. The photographs will be stored in the archives of the new library, for future generations to enjoy. As well as representing and celebrating the cultural diversity of modern Birmingham, these images hope to give an insight into modern life.


The Pavilion will host a rolling programme of Creative Residencies. Artists, film makers, book makers and a range of other creatives will set up home in The Pavilion for a week, making new work and offering a variety of free activities for Library visitors.

Each week, visitors entering the space will be treated to a different experience, ranging from interactive pieces such as audience inspired theatre and film workshops to exhibitions of sci-fi sculptures made from junk and artefacts honouring lost mythical deities. The Library’s collections and literary resources inspired much of the programme, and each residency will encourage audiences to discover something new in the Library of Birmingham.

Part of the Discovery season.