103 Colmore Row: sculpture exhibition of John Pikering’s work on display

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Equinox, the large-scale sculpture suspended outside 103 Colmore Row was the final piece West Midlands artist Pickering worked on before his death in 2016

A special exhibition of the work of West Midlands artist John Pickering has been put on display at 103 Colmore Row, in Birmingham.

‘Equinox & Other Works: The Art of John Pickering’ features 14 sculptures created by the late Pickering between 1970 – 2016. Equinox, the large-scale sculpture suspended outside 103 Colmore Row was the final piece Pickering worked on before his death in 2016.

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Pickering trained in classical sculpture and life drawing at Bilston and Birmingham Schools of Art, before working as a stone carver on projects including St Philip’s Cathedral in Birmingham and the fifteenth century Collegiate Church of St Mary, in Warwick.

During the 1980s, he started using geometry and mathematical science, specifically Inversion, a mathematical principle dating back to late Georgian times, as the inspiration for his work. Pickering devoted many years to studying inversion and creating art with it, examples of which are featured in the exhibition.

Equinox by John Pickering at 103 Colmore Row BirminghamEquinox by John Pickering at 103 Colmore Row Birmingham
Equinox by John Pickering at 103 Colmore Row Birmingham | Headline Communications

Why has 103 Colmore Row decided to host this exhibition?

In 2016, Pickering, born in Wolverhampton, started working with George L Legendre, his long-time friend and collaborator, and Doone Silver Kerr, architects for 103 Colmore Row, on the concept for a large piece of public art for the building - ‘Equinox’.

Sadly, Pickering died during the prototyping of the sculpture but Legendre, Doone Silver Kerr and 103 Colmore Row’s joint developers Sterling Property Ventures and Tristan Capital Partners committed to seeing the project through in honour of the artist.

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Arthur PickeringArthur Pickering
Arthur Pickering | Headline Communications

James Howarth, managing director of Sterling Property Ventures, said: “Equinox is a lasting reminder of John and his amazing work, which we’re extremely proud and privileged to have at 103 Colmore Row.

“During his life, John produced several sculptures, each as unique and intriguing as Equinox, so when the opportunity to display them at 103 Colmore Row arose we felt it only fitting.

“John’s mathematical and artistic genius has given us an amazing piece of public art for the building and the city, and in some small way we wanted to return the favour by putting on this exhibition and giving the public a rare opportunity to view his work.”

John Pickering Sculpture on display at 103 Colmore Row BirminghamJohn Pickering Sculpture on display at 103 Colmore Row Birmingham
John Pickering Sculpture on display at 103 Colmore Row Birmingham | Headline Communications

What has John Pickering’s family said about the exhibition?

The exhibition has been curated in partnership with Pickering’s family, the John Pickering Foundation, friends and people he worked with over the years.

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Arthur Pickering, John’s surviving twin brother, said: “I am extremely grateful to Sterling Property Ventures and Tristan Capital Partners for providing the space at 103 Colmore Row for the exhibition and enabling John’s work to be more widely seen and appreciated.

“Visitors will, I am sure, experience a new exhilaration about what art means when they explore the variety and intricate complexity of these uniquely beautiful and timeless constructions.”

103 Colmore Row103 Colmore Row
103 Colmore Row | Sauce Communications

Can you tell me more about 103 Colmore Row?

103 Colmore Row comprises 223,631 sq ft of grade A, BREEAM ‘Excellent’, EPC A rated office space, as well as a double height restaurant on the 24th floor and a ground floor bar and café, both to be operated by D&D London, plus a members’ business club on the 18th floor, which will be managed by x+why.

Three quarters of the office space is now let or under offer, with tenants including Arcadis, Browne Jacobson, Gallagher, Grant Thornton, Knight Frank, RSM, Shoosmiths, Tilney Smith & Williamson, and flexible workspace operator x+why.

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‘Equinox & Other Works: The Art of John Pickering’ is available for public viewing, Monday – Friday, 10am – 4pm. The exhibition will be on display until Friday 28th October 2022. It’s free to attend with no pre-booking necessary.

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