Start with Art

We have gone all arty in support of local talent. At OPUS, we are delighted to feature the sculpture of Viv Astling throughout the summer.

ARIEL is made from Hoptonwood marble on Welsh slate and is on display in the bar area of the restaurant.

Viv is an elected Member of the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists and a former student of the renowned sculptor John Tonks. After a working life in the public sector he is now able to devote more time to carving in stone.

He uses English Limestones particularly from quarries in Portland, Dorset and Ancaster, Lincolnshire, which is the material he has used for TURNING POINT which we are displaying on our reception desk as you enter the restaurant.  The Hoptonwood Marble is sourced from quarries near Wirksworth, Derbyshire but is unfortunately becoming more difficult to obtain.

Viv’s sculpture is often based on natural forms, waves or wings and other flying forms. He was awarded an OBE for services to the community of the West Midlands in 2005.

The RBSA gallery is located in Brook Street, St Paul’s Square, B3 1SA.


Sophie is a multi-disciplinary artist whose practice encompasses photography, film, light installations and textiles. Her work has been exhibited worldwide, including Milan, New York, Tokyo and at the Venice Art Biennale 2009.

At Bar Opus she will be exhibiting a selection of her photographs from her critically acclaimed series Swift As A Shadow.

Inspired by Degas’ ‘Little Dancer Aged Fourteen’, the work explores the contentious pose of the original sculpture through photographing a contemporary ballet dancer in a series of movements. By recording light traces from LED lights sewn into the dancer’s corset, the multi-layered images examine how the manipulation of the figure produces a sensuous art form that is not only beautiful but also challenging in its representation of female youth.

Sophie, a PhD researcher at the Birmingham School of Art who lives in the Jewellery Quarter, said: “As my work is quite innovative, I’m very keen to show it outside of the conventional gallery space and I think that such a bright and modern space as Bar Opus is perfect.”

Jennie Anderson of Argentea Gallery which originally exhibited Swift as a Shadow, added: “We were thrilled to have Sophie exhibiting her work at the gallery and to collaborate with Bar Opus is another great way to take her work to a wider audience and engage with people who wouldn’t necessarily think of visiting an art gallery.”

Contact:[email protected]


The exhibition will also host works of art from Birmingham-born innovators Key & Tam, known as LOWLFE.

LOWLFE takes everyday objects that can be found just about anywhere, such as phones, plants, coins and dead insects and introduces them to the world of miniature people.

LOWLFE said, “We combine these elements to point the finger at issues we feel are bigger than us all; the decline of the planet’s resources and inhabitants, our overuse and reliance of technology, the political figures that dominate our news feeds and what the world may look like once it hits the fan”.

With their whimsical approach and droll sense of humour, LOWLFE keeps the compositions playful but when carefully examined, there is an underlining message that sparks conversation and challenges the conventional.  They will be featuring 5 works: ‘Who’s Killing All the Bees, ‘Disobey’,’ Nature Fights Back’, ‘My Phone Died, and ‘Need Change for Begging Fines’.

Contact: [email protected]

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