Arlene Burnett, Paul Newman and Leon Trimble spent 9 months working within a section of land near the center of Birmingham cut off from the public for over 20years untouched and in a state of overgrown wilderness. Behind Closed Doors spent their time there creating new artworks in response to the space and the surrounding environment. The project was open to the public in May 2008.

Ariel view of the site from The Custard Factory roof.

I spent time in the space taking photographs using medium format pinhole cameras. These pinholes allowed me to take photographs with an exposure time of up to 8 minutes.

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The clearing of the site for phase two of the project was also documented using pinhole cameras

After spending the winter and spring in the space on 1st May 2008 five shipping containers were brought into the space reflecting the regeneration of the area, work was made in response to the containers as well as previous work made over the last 6 months was exhibited in them.

For the final phase I enlarged one of my pinhole negatives and placed the photograph in a container. As with much of my work the photograph was hung in the space where it was taken previously. The second container I worked in was back to back with the one containing the large photograph, this container was turned into a camera obscura which works on the same principles as a pinhole camera. Many of the photographs I took over the period of time spent there were exhibited in the shed along with objects of interest found at the site.

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One Response to “Secret Garden”


  1. […] “you could do something interesting here” vibe to it and reminded me a little of the Rae Garden space Arlene Burnett was curating by the Custard Factory a few years ago – an otherwise useless […]


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