After researching imagery from the history of HIV and AIDS in Birmingham, a recurring and powerful symbol was the ‘red heart ribbon’. This symbol was adopted and used by the Birmingham World AIDS day committee from 2008, the heart being chosen to represent love and to reference Birmingham’s position in the heart of England.
We decided to use the heart shaped ribbons to represent the figures. These are entwined as if embracing and supporting each other. The two ribbons also represent the dual entities of HIV and AIDS, the past and the future, remembrance and hope. The monument will stand unashamedly tall at around 6 metres to show that we will no longer be hidden or overshadowed.
Garry Jones designed the red ribbons embracing memorial.
Then, to realise the design we have partnered with local sculptor Luke Perry who is known for his monumental works celebrating under represented people. Luke proceeded to make us a scale model in his workshop as featured in the red images and video below.
Luke Perry will be constructing the final artworks standing 6 metres tall, the location of the memorial is at the top of Hurst Street in the Birmingham Hippodrome Square.
The memorial will commemorate those we have lost but who will never be forgotten. It will also be a symbol of hope for the future, at the heart of our city and for all to see. It will show how far we have come, but remind us how far we still have to go to end stigma and discrimination.
Below are some images and animation of how the 6 metre memorial will look and also a location map of where it will be situated.
Technical drawing: Jon Abbiss