Throne of Love to Celebrate the CommonWealth Games

Babs Baldachino, a colourful installation by Adam Nathaniel Furman celebrates inclusivity at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

A commission for the Commonwealth Games 2022 in Birmingham, for Fierce festival’s Healing Gardens of Bab, Babs’ Baldachino is an exhilarating burst of colours celebrating the spirit of queer Birmingham, a proud little temple to the goddess of West Midlands camp. This installation takes one on heights of love, joy and acceptance, according to the designer.

Designer Adam Nathaniel Furman has created a colourful structure called Babs Baldachino to coincide with the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. The structure comprises a stepped floor that visitors can use as seating and a striped pyramid roof with rounded planes extending perpendicularly from each side.

“It stands in the park in an easily recognisable way with a voluminous presence through the platonic simplicity of its forms and the bright contrasting colours of its decorative scheme, meaning that despite its small size it is visible from far away,” explains Furman.

Created as a monument to LGBTQ+ people in the city, Babs Baldachino was made for the city’s contemporary arts festival Fierce Festival and designed as a “queer monument to sit at the Edgbaston Reservoir,” the festival said.

Furman designed the monument to be easily disassembled, transported and reassembled so it can be used after the Commonwealth Games as a continuing part of Fierce Festival.

Red columns on the corners of the monument are topped with blue triangles.

“The structure is a reappropriation of the traditional forms of the British park bandstand and the catholic baldachino, points of communal gathering that everyone can recognise, but which here have been transformed through a lens of queer and alternative tastes into a beacon of difference that both stands apart from its context, but is also welcoming,” explains Furman.

Furman is a British artist and designer of Argentine and Japanese heritage based in London. Trained in architecture, Furman’s atelier works in spatial design and art of all scales from video and prints to large public artworks, architecturally integrated ornament, as well as products, furniture, interiors, publishing and academia.

All Images Courtesy Gareth Gardner