Sculptor and Birmingham City University (BCU) alumnus Luke Perry alongside local concept artist and founder of Birmingham Pride Garry Jones designed and built the memorial, with the help of a small team, in a year-long project at Perry’s workshop in Cradley Heath.
Prior to the unveiling, a multi-faith service at St Martin’s Church in the Bull Ring was held including readings, music, lighting of candles and a performance from the Birmingham Royal Ballet. BCU School of Fashion and Textiles students also designed special World AIDS Day-inspired cloaks that were worn by contributors to the memorial throughout the ceremony.
BCU’s School of Fashion & Textiles students first began collaborating with Garry Jones for World AIDS Day in 2009, students were this year tasked with designing cloaks inspired by the different symbols of AIDS and HIV.
Simron Sabri and Teresa Mayes are both final-year Fashion students whose cloak designs were worn at the ceremony and explained some of the inspiration behind their designs.
‘The Ribbons’ monument is now open to the public and will serve as a lasting memory of the impact AIDS has had on our world and will keep those still suffering from the disease today firmly in the public consciousness.
(The cloaks worn in the image above were made by BCU Fashion students: Teresa Mayes, Ellie Watts, Kirsty Fryer, Claire Bradbury, Rebecca Hughes and Eliann Witt)