Ozzy Osbourne, Benjamin Zephaniah and local heroes honoured in a new artwork celebrating the best of Birmingham and the West Midlands. The installation in Birmingham Airport celebrates easyJet and easyJet Holiday’s new base launch 

  • Local street artist Gent 48 unveils vibrant artwork capturing the culture, traditions and icons of Birmingham 
  • Ozzy Osbourne, Benjamin Zephaniah and an 11-year-old fundraising hero are among those who have been honoured 
  • The mural has been commissioned by easyJet and easyJet Holidays to celebrate the launch of the airline’s new airport base, which is supporting over 1200 local jobs  
  • Unique installation draws inspiration from Birmingham’s iconic culture including its famous ‘curry mile’, its manufacturing history, and vibrant arts scene  

Musician Ozzy Osbourne, late poet Benjamin Zephaniah and an 11-year-old fundraising hero are among those who have been honoured in a new mural unveiled today at Birmingham airport.  

The artwork celebrates the best of Birmingham, capturing the many cultures, traditions and icons of Britain’s ‘second city.’  

It was created by local street artist Gent 48, aka Josh Billingham, who ranks among the most talented and prolific street artists in Birmingham. 

The installation has been commissioned by easyJet and easyJet Holidays to mark the opening of the airline’s new base at the airport and ninth base in the UK, which is supporting over 1200 jobs and providing greater choice and connectivity for the region. 

The mural which welcomes those departing and arriving into the city, also recognises local heroes who have made significant contributions to the neighbouring community. 

Amongst those present at the mural’s unveiling was 11-year-old Ryan Hulance who turns waste into charitable food donations, by collecting empty tin cans from businesses and locals and selling the scrap metal to purchase items for food banks. 

Football coach Asha Rage has also been honoured in the mural. The inspiring local woman has harnessed the sport to keep young people away from gang violence and build bridges in the community. 

Asha and Ryan were presented with an all-inclusive trip from Birmingham by easyJet Holidays, in recognition of the work they do in the community.  

Birmingham based easyJet cabin crew member and community volunteer Kieron Sparkes is also celebrated in the mural for his work supporting The Mary Stevens Hospice for six years, raising awareness of the local charity, even when he travels.  

The unique installation also draws inspiration from Birmingham’s iconic culture including its famous ‘curry mile’, its manufacturing history, and energetic arts scene.  Poetry from Benjamin Zephaniah also features, with permission from the late poet’s brother. 

Artist Gent 48 spent 120 hours creating the piece, which measures 2.4 metres tall and 4.8 metres wide, occupying 62 square feet of the airport terminal. 

Gent 48 is a celebrated art figure in the city, having previously created other notable works, including a mural that paid tribute to Birmingham’s NHS workers during the Covid 19 pandemic. 

European landmarks that easyJet will connect Birmingham to including La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona and the Eiffel Tower in Paris.  

The mural will be at Birmingham airport until next week for visitors to enjoy, before being donated to a community group in the local area. 

Johan Lundgren, easyJet CEO said:  

"It has been a fantastic opportunity to work with Gent 48 to mark our new home in Birmingham, celebrating all that is unique an iconic in the city and bringing to life what is special about the area and those who live here.   

“The artwork is a wonderful tribute to the opening of our new base and what we are proud to provide the region, with more connectivity and choice which enables more people the opportunity to explore and enjoy more places this world has to offer. We can’t wait to welcome them onboard.” 

Dave Zephaniah, brother of Benjamin Zephaniah said:  

“Our family are incredibly proud that Benjamin's tireless fight for justice and social change, still resonates, not just in Birmingham but globally and that his cultural iconic status cements a lasting legacy of hope.” 

Artist Gent 48 said:  

“There is far more to Birmingham than meets the eye. I hope that my latest work inspires visitors to look more closely at the incredible people and culture the city has to offer.” 

From today (March 18th) easyJet's new base at Birmingham Airport will see the launching of 16 new routes for the summer season including Antalya, Barcelona and Corfu meaning the airline now offers 28 routes from the UK’s ‘second city’ to destinations across Europe, as well as thousands of package holidays. This summer easyJet will operate its biggest ever UK flying programme and its biggest ever summer for easyJet holidays. 

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