A Midland artist shortlisted for the Beck's Futures contemporary arts prize has praised Birmingham for inspiring his work.
Richard Hughes, aged 32, who will see his art go on dis-play at venues in London, Glasgow and Bristol in the spring, was brought up in Rubery.
The sculptor, who is fascinated with re-reading cultural history, said: "Birmingham has informed my work without a doubt.
"The proximity of the city and the countryside and the contrast it offers has stuck with me as a happy place to spend your formative year; plenty of space to breathe, while offering the many scenes which thrived happily in Birmingham, the remnants of which still clutter my mental closet.
"My memories are of a city being pretty ego free. The second city does not feel the need to justify itself as much as other cities, that need to be told how great they are all the time."
Mr Hughes developed his artistic talent while at school in West Heath. After attending the North East Worcestershire College in Redditch and Staffordshire University, he moved to London where he has lived for eight years.
He was one of 13 people shortlisted for the prize, which aims to find artists who "genuinely and uniquely demonstrated the impulses and relevance of the contemporary UK art scene".
Mr Hughes said: "Being shortlisted for Beck's is a thrill and offers a good platform for my work although having it staged at three venues simultaneously should be a challenge to say the least."
The winner gets £20,000.