New community art project set to champion the achievements of women from Kings Heath!
When a recent survey asked local Kings Heath residents to nominate who they thought should be featured in an art installation at the new Kings Heath and Moseley train station (reportedly opening in 2020/2021), we were surprised to see that all of the suggestions were male! From JRR Tolkien, to Joseph Chamberlain… all deserving in their own right, but all-male none-the-less. Therefore we intend to launch our own art installation celebrating the achievements of women from Kings Heath! Exact details to be confirmed, but let’s get the ball rolling...
Please nominate who you think should be considered for inclusion in this art piece. Nominations can be for local heroes in the community, such as school teachers or police officers, to Kings Heathens that have gone on to reach international fame, or even someone that’s inspired or made an impact on you personally.
The aim will be to put it out to a public vote later in the summer and then we hope to find a means of getting these women immortalised in public art in the area.
Closing date for nominations is 5 PM Monday 9th September 2019. To nominate who you think deserves some recognition, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and attach a short description of why you are nominating this person.
The public vote will then take place both online and in various Kings Heath cafes and bars during September and October.
Why we are doing this competition?
Kings Heath BID have noticed that in the recent consultation on the opening of Kings Heath railway station, that there have been suggestions for a work of art to celebrate of life of various local Kings Heathens. Kings Heath BID have done a tally of statues in Birmingham that celebrate the life of famous people and only two are dedicated to a woman: both statues are to Queen Victoria. Kings Heath BID want to redress this imbalance and have some future public works dedicated to inspiring women.
Kings Heath BID have already nominated various ‘Inspiring Women of Kings Heath’ and these are:
• Ann Jones – global tennis star of the 1960s. She won eight tennis Grand Slams, including two Wimbledon titles: 1969 winner of Wimbledon women singles; 1969 winner of Wimbledon mixed doubles. Currently vice president of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club.
• Toyah Willcox - four times Brit Award nominated English musician, singer, songwriter, actress, producer and author. In a career spanning more than forty years, Willcox has had 8 Top 40 singles, released over 20 albums, written two books, appeared in over forty stage plays and ten feature films, and voiced and presented numerous television shows
• Vix - real name Victoria Perks - lead singer of Fuzzbox – lead singer of the all female group from the mid-eighties. Had two top 20 hits in 1986: "International Rescue" and "Pink Sunshine"
• Janice Connolly BEM - is a British actress, comedian and artistic director. She runs the Birmingham-based group Women and Theatre, and performs stand-up comedy as her character "Mrs Barbara Nice". Connolly has also appeared in Coronation Street, That Peter Kay Thing, Phoenix Nights, Max and Paddy's Road To Nowhere, Thin Ice and Dead Man Weds. She has also worked at the Birmingham Rep with Roxanna Silbert as Artistic Director. In 2017 Connolly was awarded a British Empire Medal in the New Years Honours list for services to community arts in the West Midlands. In 2019, she was a finalist in ITV’s ‘ Britain’s Got Talent. ’
• Alys Fowler - British horticulturist and journalist. She was a presenter on the long-running BBC television programme Gardeners' World.
• Jodi Ann Bickley - Author of 'One Million Lovely Letters'
• Lynne Jones MP – First female MP for Kings Heath. She represented the Selly Oak constituency, which covered Kings Heath. Labour MP from 1992 to 2010.
• Laura Mvula - British recording artist, songwriter and composer. Her debut album, Sing to the Moon, was released on 4 March 2013 with an orchestral re-recording released on 11 August 2014. Her second album, The Dreaming Room, was released in 2016. Both albums were received to critical acclaim and garnered Mercury Prize nominations.
• Jessica Rose Phillips MP. Currently the Labour Party MP in the Birmingham Yardley constituency since 2015. Lived in Kings Heath when elected.
• Lisa Trickett – Labour Councillor of Moseley and Kings Heath Ward from 2012 to 2018. Current Councillor for Kings Heath and Brandwood Ward.
• Emily Cox – First-ever female Liberal Democrat Councillor for Moseley and Kings Heath Ward, from 2004 to 2011.
• Claire Spencer - First-ever female Labour and Co-operative Party Councillor for Moseley and Kings Heath Ward, from 2013 to 2018
Where is Kings Heath?
Like most districts in Birmingham, the precise boundaries of Kings Heath are not clear. There are no rivers or mountains to provide boundaries. Some people use the B14 postal district, but this extends all the way south to Maypole – is the Maypole in Kings Heath or is it in Druids Heath.
For this competition, we will accept nominations for women who have connections to places within 1.5km of Kings Heath Village Square – at the junction of Vicarage Road and Alcester Road South. However, we are happy to take advice if someone can produce a precise map of Kings Heath.