Three women sat on a bench looking out at the lake at Cannon Hill Park

Our Park, Our Lives

 September – November 2023 

Cannon Hill Park, previously Cannon Meadows Park, was opened to the public on 1 September 1873. It was gifted to the City by Louisa Anne Ryland, the daughter of Samuel Ryland, a Birmingham manufacturer, for the people of Birmingham, to protect and preserve for all time.

Our Park Our Lives celebrated the Park’s 150th anniversary.  Developed with local women and undertaken research with other park users – locals, day trippers, daily dog walkers, skaters, and picnickers – to reflect on what Cannon Hill Park means to them and the people of Birmingham – the beneficiaries of Louisa’s gift.

This process has led to the creation of an audio piece performed by a community cast of local women (see below to listen) a Visual Vernacular film developed in partnership with Deaf Explorer and a series of photographs, produced through a number of mindful photography sessions with community participants in the park. All could be viewed at an exhibition at Midlands Arts Centre which originally ran from 9 September to 8 October 2023, and was then extended until November 2023. 

Alongside Our Park, Our Lives, Women & Theatre produced a sister project – a professional theatre production called Not the Last, which portrayed two local historians trying to unearth facts about Louisa Anne Ryland, it ran in Theatre at MAC from 14 -17 September 2023.


Our Park Our Lives Audio Series

Episode 1

Episode 2

Episode 3

Episode 4

Cast & Creative Team 

Audio Community Cast: Elaine Williams, Renia Ganguly, Mohua Banerjee, Jane Thaakordin, Maggie Parsons, Carol Dixon, Mohini Howard, Robyn Tighe, Ann Glover, Carole Cummins, Tessa Lowe, Chelsea Fowels & Vimla Dodd.

Deaf Explorer Film Cast and Creatives: Maral Mamaghanizadeh, Zoë McWhinney and Rachael Veazey.

Community Photographers: Renia Ganguly, Mohua Banerjee, Robyn Tighe, Ann Glover, Sharda Lavingia, Viren Lavingia, Jane Harvey, Gillian Cattell, Carol Dixon & Carole Cummins. Kate Green’s Photo Social Group. Professional Photographs by Kate Green. 

Women & Theatre Team: Janice Connolly, Vicky Pritchard, Sam Frankie Fox & Kate Green. 


Funders & Partners 

Arts Council England, Midlands Arts Centre, John Feeney Trust, The Sir Barry Jackson Trust and The Grimmitt Trust