Hockley Flyover 

The Hockley Flyover Project was a documentary photography project commission via Ghost Streets (a Birmingham based arts initiative) to create a visual record of the Hockley Flyover (A41 overpass) and the large public spaces underneath the huge concrete overpass. By coincidence, the main work to document the space came as the UK entered an extraordinary period under a national lockdown to control the coronavirus. 

The majority of photographs were taken during a series of solo lockdown walks and capture the solitude of the space, road and peoples fleeting interactions. The Hockley Flyover was built in the late 1960s as a concrete overpass which has a large public space underneath connected via five subway tunnels. It has extraordinary concrete sculptured walls that run around the inner walls underneath the flyover designed by the British sculptor Willaim Mitchell. Its subways and other surfaces have been used by graffiti writers for more than thirty years to express themselves.  Despite all the concrete, it is surrounded by green banks and the large public space in the centre are hardly used by the local community.


The photographs provide a visual record of the space during COVID-19 whilst also capturing the architecture and the ephemeral environment. Lockdown provided time to reflect on the value of public spaces in cities and to look closely at this part of the city to explore its ugliness and beauty.    

© Tracey Thorne