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Street art on the rooftop

It's always good to see our graduates reaching the dizzy heights and none more so than Visual Communication student Joshua Billingham who studied Illustration and left in 2013.

Joshua, who goes by the moniker Gent 48, had been commissioned by Birmingham City Council to create the stunning piece of artwork entitled Be Bold, Be Birmingham, which was part of a campaign to promote the regeneration of the Smithfield area of Digbeth that will see 3000 new homes built on the former market site. Joshua was taught by the Head of Visual Communication, George Hart. George was particularly impressed with Joshua’s development since he left BCU.

“Josh has kept in touch with me on Facebook and I’ve followed his career over the last eight years. He always stood out as a student and his approach was always single-minded. It certainly doesn’t surprise me that he has gone on to produce this kind of work. In Viscom we’re really proud of what he has done and it's good to show current students what can be achieved”

The amazing mural, which took eight days to produce, has been painted on the disused Moat Lane car park and whilst no longer accessible to the public, has been photographed using a camera attached to a drone. Joshua has made a name for himself as one of Birmingham’s most sought after street artists and his work has featured across Birmingham and the west Midlands. Josh said:

"I've never painted on a car park roof before, I knew it was going to be challenging but then I thought 'if I'm painting a statement telling other people to be bold, I should be bold myself'."

The mural itself is part of a campaign Be Bold, Be Birmingham was launched earlier this year and is a campaign to showcase creativity, diversity, ambition and uniqueness. Postgraduate Lecturer, Professor Andrew Kulman commented:

“It’s really impressive to see what our illustration graduates find themselves doing once they’ve left. Usually, we hear of students going on to write and design Children’s books or graphic novels and of course a number do become established artists including street artists, but in the case of Josh we are continually getting surprised by the commissions he gets given. What I particularly like is that this really does give a sense of credibility to street art, which is sometimes mistaken for graffiti and can divide opinion as to its worth.”


Find out more about our Visual Communication courses