Curzon Street Station, Birmingham, UK, 2007

Inspired by the inventive and pioneering spirit of Birmingham's industrial revolution, Mark Anderson, Anne Bean, Ansuman Biswas, Helen Ingham, Kirsten Reynolds, Nick Sales and Richard Wilson along with Bastiaan Maris’s Large Hot Pipe Organ, Len Crane’s steam engine and Roland Humble’s ship’s whistles, created Blast in the old Curzon Street Station. Huge projections of steam trains were projected on the station building. The steam whistle orchestra was conducted by changes of light and train drivers who passed behind the site, during the performances, were asked to blow their horns. The area throbbed once again with the sound, smells, fire, raw energy and illuminations of the station’s steam age past.

The centrepiece of the festival programme was Blast, an exhilarating celebration of Birmingham’s industrial heritage through a mesmerising mix of pyrotechnics and performance art. review

...If it were a Tate production there would have been national press and features on Radio 4... This is the sort of public art event that Birmingham deserves, being inclusive and fun but not afraid to aesthetically and intellectually challenge. It’s a shining example of what city-specific art can be and I cannot thank and congratulate all those involved, from the performers to the organisers who pushed this project forward, enough.”

A version of BLAST was commissioned for Heat the Streets, Blackpool in 2009.

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Blast (2007)