The Custard Factory is it’s own little piece of greatness set just a few minutes walk from the ultra busy Bullring shopping centre in the heart of Birmingham.
Located in the Digbeth area of the City, and as the name suggests, has a strong to connection to the famous yellow stuff and so this is where Sir Alfred Bird made the famous custard.
Since the factory shut in the 1960s the 5 acre site laid derelict for many years. Luckily in the 1980’s work began to improve and convert the site into an arts and media oasis – it was my turn to see what street art and graffiti the area had to offer.
It’s currently a dynamic community of over 500 artists and small creative enterprises with studios and offices complemented by a theatre, café, antique shops, meeting rooms, dance studios, holistic therapy rooms, art galleries, bars and restaurants.
Set off the main street running through Digbeth and a mixture of red bricked buildings and other brightly coloured facades just warmly invite you in.
Some vintage cars lined the walkways, some chaps smartly dressed in suits acted out something (couldnt work out what it was all about) whilst everything just seemed too ubercool to be true.
Some large art installations welcomed you (or scared you depending on your view on it) whilst graffiti legend INSA has made a welcome return to the area with his huge (and trademark) striking blue piece adorning the full height of this wall – it took sixty tins of paint for this one!
Onwards to the area where a vintage fayre was taking place but more importantly there was a scissor lift and the smell of aeorsols! It seems that a massive wasp was being painted live during the weekend. Does anyone know who was the artist?
Housed at the back under the continuous railway arches were little nuggets of street art. Around each arch and brick pillar were something to amuse and intrigue beginning with this giant orange octopus! (Complete with hammer and saw!)
This octopus has also recently featured as an ITV ident when the channel relaunched in January 2013. Click the link below to watch.
Dotted around the maze of bridges, arches, walkways and lanes were little orange workmen either positioning satellite dishes or frantically working along pipes! (Was like a scene from Fraggle Rock!)