Located on Oozells Street in what is now Oozells Square in Brindleyplace,Birmingham is the IKON Gallery. It was originally built in 1877 as the Oozells Street Boarding School designed by the famed architect John Henry Chamberlain. By 1981 it was used by Birmingham City Council as Furniture Stores. Was converted into the IKON Gallery in 1997 by Levitt Bernstein.

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From the Oozells Street Boarding School to the IKON Gallery





Located on Oozells Street in what is now Oozells Square in Brindleyplace,Birmingham is the IKON Gallery. It was originally built in 1877 as the Oozells Street Boarding School designed by the famed architect John Henry Chamberlain. By 1981 it was used by Birmingham City Council as Furniture Stores. Was converted into the IKON Gallery in 1997 by Levitt Bernstein.


IKON Gallery

(Information below from Wikipedia)

The IKON Gallery was founded in 1965, but only moved to it's present location in 1997. It was founded by four artists from the Birmingham School of Art, David Prentice, Sylvani Merilion, Jesse Bruton and Robert Groves. Originally located in the 1960s Bull Ring shopping centre. By 1978 they had moved to a former carpet shop on John Bright Street near the Alexandra Theatre. The gallery moved to the former Oozells Street Board School in 1997 where they remain to this day. The refurbishment work was designed by Levitt Bernstein.

It is a Grade II listed building now listed as the The Ikon Gallery and Ikon Cafe. But when it was originally listed in 1981, it was the Furniture Stores Of City Of Birmingham Education Department. The listing was last amended in 2011. It was built in 1878 for the Birmingham School Board by Chamberlain and Martin and altered by the same practice in 1898. Paul Clarke of Levitt Bernstein converted it to it's current use in 1997.

 

The following views from Oozells Square of the IKON Gallery taken during May 2009.

These were mobile shots as I think that my then compact camera had run out of battery.

IKON sign from the side. Looking towards Jurys Inn on Broad Street.

First look at the main entrance with the IKON sign. Did not go inside at this time.

I was trying different modes out on my then phone camera, so here I did a black and white monochrome version. Could be a photo from the latre 19th century if it wasn't for the modern building behind!

By June 2009 I had a new bridge camera (after having an issue with my old compact camera in May 2009). So amongst other things got new photos of the IKON Gallery from Oozells Square.

Side or close up view with the rebuilt tower. The original tower was demolished in the 1960s, and in the late 1990s rebuilt and conversion a new tower was built to the original design. Further back it is hard to tell that it is relatively new!

Ahead of a work 25th anniversary do in November 2010, got new photos including this glass lift tower.

You can only really see it from the outside from this service path from Oozells Square to the Water's Edge.

The next time I would see the glass lift shaft would be inside during my works party (almost 9 years ago now).

Close up look at the IKON sign as I entered for the first time during late November 2010, for my works 25th party.

A look at the lift. There is two levels, Level 1 and Level 2 that have exhibitions on. If you go in the lift, it makes a noise, "na na naa naaa naaaa naaaaaa" etc (it is best if you use the lift yourself, also I've not videoed the lift sound). I most recently used the lift after visiting the Barry Flanagan exhibition. Barry Flanagan bronze sculptures at the IKON Gallery.

The Victorian interiors preserved with the late 1990s lift shaft and glass staircase.

Modern metal tubes connect to the Victorian brick and stonework.

Pretty much the same when you turn slightly to the right. This I think was from Level 2.

Some of the artworks I saw probably on Level 2 during late November 2010.

No idea who the artist's was or what this exhibition was about though.

Lots of metal circles inside of circles.

Perhaps something to do with sound and air?

Skipping ahead to July 2015 when The Big Hoot Birmingham 2015 was on. Here in Oozells Square outside of the IKON Gallery was: Midnight Moths by the artist: Alyn Smith, it was sponsored by: Harrow Green.

This owl sculpture was in Central Square, Brindleyplace outside of Five Brindleyplace. It was offices of BT, but later  Deutsche Bank. The Oozells Owl was by the artist: Jodie Silverman, and the sponsor was of course Deutsche Bank.

Back to outside of the IKON Gallery in Oozells Square during July 2017. The Big Sleuth Birmingham 2017 was on with a bear trail. The Ink Detective was by the artist: Mr A Singh and the sponsor was Deloitte.

There is a Barry Flanagan bronze sculpture of a sitting hare outside in Oozells Square. Seen here during September 2019. At that time wasn't sure of going into the IKON Gallery, also had a long bus journey and walk, so left it for another week.

One of the Barry Flanagan hare sculptures seen inside of the IKON Gallery during early October 2019. For more photos, the link to the post is further up. Or see them via this search Barry Flanagan.

During my most recent visit to the IKON Gallery earlier in October 2019, after seeing the Barry Flanagan exhibition (link further up this post), went back down the glass lift (for the first time in almost 9 years). Saw this modern area with a dartboard. Somewhere to sit in the foyer, near the shop. There is a cafe to the far left of here (I have never been). It is now home to Yorks Cafe. They erroneously have the date 1847 for when the school was built (it was actually around 1877 or 1878).

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

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