Unpacking Cader Idris

Unpacking Cader Idris


Unpacking Cader Idris // Ally Standing

Thu 22 Sept |10 30am - 3pm | Free but booking is essential


Meet: outside The Woodman, New Canal Street B5 5LG

The Cader Idris Horizon Line by David Patten - a large-scale relief of coloured steel shapes intended to evoke the mountainous landscape of both Wales and accompanying text plaque with a quote from historian William Hutton - was, for the best part of three decades, installed on the side of John Madin’s recently-demolished Central Library building. Initially made by Patten as part of the Ikon show of 1989 Cader Idris and the City of a Thousand Trades which marked the centenary of the city, the work was installed on the library in 1990, during the period of urban regeneration which saw the installation of many public artworks in and around Birmingham’s civic centre.

Madin’s opinion-dividing brutalist construction was closed in 2013, and 3 years later, demolition is almost complete. The Cader Idris Horizon Line was deinstalled in 2015, and has since then been temporarily stored in Birmingham Museum Trust’s Collections Centre.  

What happens to public artworks when they have ‘run their course’? Is there a way to give a public artwork a dignified send-off? And, most importantly, could this be a catalyst for further consideration of and discussion around the purpose and function of public art?

The first part of the event will involve the physical unpacking of the sculpture from its temporary casket, in the yard of Birmingham Museums Trust’s Collections Centre - an eerie limbo in which can be seen several formerly-public sculptures and artworks. The second part of the event is an informal consultation process which will take place in The Woodman pub.


About Ally:


Ally Standing is a Birmingham based artist with a psychogeographic, interdisciplinary, and often collaborative practice. Her work explores ideas surrounding the built environment - post-war architectural history and public art being two particular areas of interest.






Book your free tickets for Unpacking Cader Idris here:

We will meet at The Woodman then walk to Dollman Street to the Museum Collection in a group as it may be an unfamiliar location to many. This walk is about 20 minutes. We will be unpacking the scultpture outdoors - please bring work gloves and sturdy footwear. Lunch option available at The Woodman but this will not be provided by the organisers.

Presentation room is accessibly only by a flight of steps.