Public Art Research Archive, Sheffield Hallam University

Julie Westerman
'Birds Observed', 1992
BR Midland Station
cement fondu with graphite

removed during renovations to station buildings - whereabouts not known

BR Midland Station, Sheffield. On three of the five grilles separating the main concourse from the new entrance extension.
(A-Z p5 5G)

Seven birds perch on the station entrance side of the grilles.

Bronze originals were made for a firm's office building in Birmingham, these pieces are the maquettes for that work.

Artist describes the birds showing varying experiences of people using the station; rushing, then waiting; being too early, too late, feeling tense before or after the action, and everything revolving around a very brief period of time. The piece was installed as part of an exhibition at the station called 'Trailblaze'. When the exhibition closed Westerman had trouble co-ordinating the removal of the piece and they are still in situ as a result. Despite being immediately above the entrance to the station concourse, and the presence of a label identifying the artist, most users of the station, and even BR staff, are totally unaware of the Birds' presence.
Update: One piece was damaged and subsequently removed (c. 1999); the other pieces stayed in place until the onset of rebuilding and renovation at the station (2004) when they were removed. There are no plans to reinstall this work.

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Last updated August 16, 2005