Westside BID has commissioned a unique work of art that captures Black Sabbath’s ‘heavy metal’ bench on Broad Street as a special gift for Tony Iommi, the band’s lead guitarist.
And now a limited edition of 250 prints of the painting have been produced for die-hard metal fans to purchase.
The picture, created by local artist Paula Gabb, looks down on the canal from the Barajee Indian restaurant opposite the bench, which has become a major landmark for tourists to Birmingham.
Westside BID spotted what was originally a digital picture and commissioned Paula to reproduce and refine it as a one-off painting.
The BID has now delivered it to Tony Iommi’s Midland home as a ‘thank you’ present for the star’s continued support for the district.
Tony Iommi, who unwrapped and viewed the picture for the first time on a bench in his back garden, said: “Thank you Westside! It’s a great painting and I’m so chuffed to see the Back Sabbath bench depicted in such colourful art.”
Video: watch the picture being prepared and delivered to Tony Iommi here:
Mike Olley, general manager of Westside BID, said: “Tony has shown fantastic commitment with his willingness to turn out in person on Westside over the years, and we wanted to find a special way of saying ‘thank you’.
“When we first saw this painting by Paula Gabb, I shared an image of it with Tony and he expressed his delight and pleasure at the work and how it had so accurately depicted the bench.
“I knew then that this would make a great gift for him and am delighted that the picture is now hanging in his home studio.”
Mr Olley added: “We thought it would be a nice touch to produce a limited edition run of 250 copies of the picture, and we’re sure they will sell quickly.”
Artist Paula expressed how “thrilled” she was that her special commission from Westside BID had been gifted to Tony Iommi.
She said: “The Black Sabbath bench has always been one of those things that I wanted to capture in a painting and I was thrilled when it was in the view from the Barajee.
“The painting just captures everything I wanted – the length of the canal, the edge of Brindleyplace and the lovely bench which is in such a great spot on the canal bridge.”
● Limited edition prints of the picture are now available for £150 each from www.blacksabbathbench.co.uk.