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Boy, 11, joins Ozzy and Zephaniah in new mural celebrating Birmingham

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An 11-year-old schoolboy joins the likes of Ozzy Osbourne and the late poet and Peaky Blinders star Benjamin Zephaniah in a new mural celebrating Birmingham heroes, which was unveiled today at Birmingham airport.

Artist Gent 48 spent 120 hours creating the installation, commissioned by easyJet and easyJet Holidays to celebrate 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.

Fundraising schoolboy Ryan Hulance, 11, 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.

The local icons were honoured in the new artwork by graffiti artist Gent 48, real name Josh Billingham, which features the celebrities along with Birmingham’s famous ‘curry mile’, while also giving a nod to the city’s manufacturing history and vibrant arts scene.

Football coach Asha Rage has also been honoured in the mural. The inspiring local woman encourages kids to get involved in sport to keep them away from gang violence and build bridges in the community.

Asha and Ryan were presented with a package holiday of their choice 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 featured in the mural for his work supporting The Mary Stevens Hospice for six years, raising awareness of the local charity, even when he travels.

Gent 48 is a renowned 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.

He 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.”

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.

Dave Springer, 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.”

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”.



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