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THE K BLAC RY T N U CO ION T I D E


southba

nk cent r e ’s

black co u n t ry 20 – 28 Ma y

COME AND EXPERIENCE THE FLAVOURS OF SOUTH ASIA AND THE UK WITH ALCHEMY BLACK COUNTRY MUSIC DANCE FILM PERFORMANCE COMEDY THEATRE ART & SPOKEN WORD

Wolverhampton, Sandwell, Dudley and Walsall Black Country Touring and Creative Black Country in Partnership

bctouring.co.uk

#AlchemyBC

/BCT2013

This tour is generously supported by:


Editors: kerry@fusedmagazine.com | @kerryfused dave@fusedmagazine.com | @davefused Front Cover: Illustration of Elizabeth Ilsley design for 100 Masters by Juneau Projects (p.4-9) Content Image: The Fingerpost from Silver Thread Tapestries image taken by Ming de Nasty (p.44-45) This special edition of Area Guide has been supported by Creative Black Country through Arts Council England’s Creative People and Places. creativeblackcountry.co.uk

ADVERTISING Adverts cost just £250 for a page. To book call 01384 837 362 today for early bird offers or email kerry@fusedmagazine.com.

AREA Culture Guide tel: 01384 837 362 areacultureguide.co.uk fusedmagazine.com @areaguide / @fusedmagazine Facebook.com/fusedpublications This guide is produced by Fused Media DISCLAIMER Reproduction of all editorial/images in any form is strictly prohibited without prior permission. We cannot be held responsible for breach of copyright arising from any material supplied. While we aim to make sure all listings are correct we can not be held responsible for any incorrect entries. Readers should check venues before arrival. Views expressed are those of the contributors and not necessarily the publishers. This is a Fused Publication © Fused 2017 © Area Culture Guide 2017.

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100 MASTERS

CALL FOR NOMINATIONS see 100masters.co.uk for more info

Did you know that a West Bromwich cactus-breeder has received gold at RHS Chelsea for the last seven successive years? What about the Dudley-born fashion illustrator who counts RnB star Rihanna and the Kardashians as her fans? Heard about the Wolverhampton lecturer who has won an unprecedented international accolade for his pioneering research into the medical uses of sugar? Only last year at the Edinburgh Fringe, a care worker from Sandwell beat 14 professional comedians to win the ‘Joke of the year 2016’. The Black Country was forged at the hands of men and women from all walks of life who honed their skills to the highest levels. It was through their 04


craftsmanship and diligence that the region became renowned as the industrial heartland of the UK, and now a Creative Black Country campaign aims to recognise the region’s great industrial heritage by representing the present-day masters who have been making tremendous strides. Over the next few months 100 Masters will aim to identify contemporary skilled people from the region and help inspire future talent. The public are being asked to have their say and nominate someone they know who is brilliant at what they do. No achievement is too big or small; maybe your neighbour bakes the best bread you’ve ever tasted, or your local landlord brews the best beer?   The project is open to ideas of noteworthy people who have forged their own path and displayed outstanding ability that has influenced others in their field.

SCAN THE ANVIL TO BRING IT TO LIFE 1. Download the to your smartphone

app on

2. Open the app and let it have access to the camera on your phone 3. Hold the phone about 15-20cm above the Anvil image on the front of the postcard 4. Tap the screen to scan 5. Wait for the animation to appear The augmented reality animations, produced by Juneau Projects, will change every few weeks so check back for new short films. Follow @100Masters for updates. Read more about how Juneau Projects are working with AR technology on pages 8-9.

A master can be from any walk of life and there are no restrictions in specialism but they must have either been born, educated, lived or worked in Sandwell, Walsall, Dudley or Wolverhampton for a significant period of time. 05


‘CACTUS’ STAN GRIFFIN MASTERED: HORTICULTURE LOCATION: WEST BROMWICH Over fifty years of growing cacti and other succulents has given Stan unrivalled experience and understanding of their needs which is why he has won Gold several times at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. JOHN NEAVE MASTERED: TYPESETTING & PRINTING LOCATION: WOLVERHAMPTON John has been printing using traditional methods for over 67 years working with many well-known local businesses and organisations, some of whom are long-gone.

DREW ROPER MASTERED: ANIMATION LOCATION: WALSALL Yamination is the hub of multiaward winning stop-motion/ frame animator, Drew Roper. The studio covers all aspects of production within its walls, thriving on creativity and innovation.


ELISABETH ILSLEY MASTERED: FASHION DESIGN LOCATION: DUDLEY I SHAVE MY LEGS FOR YOU was the bold statement that visual artist Elizabeth Ilsley decided to emblazon on the back of a vintage leather jacket thus cementing her position as THE go to artist for unique customised clothing. HANIFA MCQUEEN HUDSON MASTERED: BREAKDANCING LOCATION: WOLVERHMAPTON At the age of 12, inspired by her brothers, Hanifa developed a talent for breakdancing and a year later was starring in the UK’s first breakdancing music video ‘Electro Rock’ as part of Black Country dance troupe ‘The B Boys’. Do you know someone that deserves to be recognised for their passion and commitment? Then you can nominate them at: 100masters.co.uk/nominate-a-master/


JUNEAU PROJECTS To make some of the 100 Masters come to life lead artists Juneau Projects will be bringing their illustration and tech skills to the project. Working with cacti breeder Stan Griffin, illustrator Elizabeth Isley, printmaker John Neave, B-girl Hanifa McQueen Hudson and animator Drew Roper, artist duo Ben and Phil will be producing a set of augmented reality animations. Readers will be able to ‘trigger’ images that will be printed in Fused Magazine and the Express & Star newspaper by using the Layar app. Juneau Projects explain more about the project… 08


Can you tell us a bit about how you have approached the 100 Masters project? The 100 Masters commission is a very unique opportunity for us. It’s a real pleasure to be able to celebrate the creativity of the Black Country, and to meet so many talented people. We are specifically looking at how we can show people the talents of the nominated masters in a visually exciting way. We are working with augmented reality technology to embed additional layers of information, detail and interest within the printed information about the project and the masters. You are using Augmented Reality – can you explain a little bit about what that means and why you chose this route? Augmented reality is a developing technology that allows information to be placed, shared and viewed through a mobile device within the real world. ‘Pokemon Go’, the recent smart phone-based game, is a great example of this. Augmented is a very effective way to add multimedia content to print and objects. You download the ‘Layar’ app to your phone, scan a picture or object with the app and then that triggers photos, video sound, 3D models, web links, etc to appear on your screen. We thought it would be a great way to give people an insight into the lives and talents of the Masters. You have been working with a few of the masters already – can you tell us

how you think you might use AR to bring them to life? We’re currently working on a series of five hand-painted animations. Each animation relates to one of the masters. The animations will be placed as augmented reality content within the upcoming Express & Star feature on the 100 Masters commission. Each animation shows the masters at work, using their unique talents. We think the AR content will complement the written and printed content, allowing the masters to pop out of the paper so that viewers can engage with them in new and innovative ways. You have a very distinctive style – can you tell us how you would describe what you do and your approach? We have been working together now for over sixteen years. Our style and approach is really influenced by this fact. Everything we make is part of a conversation between the two of us. It feels very natural for us to involve other people in this conversation too, which is why we like to work with people to produce art work. We are very interested in people’s creativity and the fundamental urge humans have to make things, beyond professional gain. To this end we really like things like folk art, outsider art and vernacular art. We also really enjoy working with technology and seeing how we can use it in creative ways. 09


GIRLS, GIRLS, GIRLS! A photographic exploration of India and her women in modern day Black Country and contemporary Punjab is being produced through the lens of four pioneering female photographers from the UK and India. Marking the 70th anniversary of the partition of india from the UK the British Council’s Reimagine India is a cultural exchange programme investing in creative collaborations between art and cultural organisations in England and in India. With an award from the Arts Council, Creative Black Country, along with partner Multistory, will produce a new body of work titled Girls, Girls, Girls! for an exhibition at the Nazar Foundation’s Delhi Photo Festival in Spring 2018. Coordinating the high profile project will be artist Ines Elsa Dalal. “We’re focusing on the representation of women in and from Indian-Punjab and will be connecting four, pioneering female photographers, two from England and two from India, with diasporic communities across Punjab and the Black Country.” comments Ines.  “I’m really pleased with how open the subject matter is; that the commissioned artists are free to work with any one in any way they choose as long as they’re portraying contemporary narratives 010


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which are representative of women. There can be an expectation to highlight a certain theme such as international projects featuring women in enterprise and while there’s nothing necessarily wrong with this I just feel that with any form of participatory practice having the freedom to not have to be prescriptive in what the photographers focus on is refreshing.” The work aims to capture contemporary culture and lifestyle, and explore the journey women have made from the Black Country to India, and India to the Black Country. It will also investigate interesting synergies, quirks, subcultures and social behaviours unique to people and places in both countries. Parminder Dosanjh Creative Director CBC said: “The Black Country has one of the latgest Punjabi diasporas outside of the Punjab. We have strong Indian historical roots here, in business, culture and education, but somehow we’ve disconnected from India today. We‘ve used ‘Bollywood films’ and romanticised stories about life in India as a means to connect, and sadly missed an evolution of contemporary culture. This project allows us to stimulate new conversations and reimagine India in the 21st Century.” The Girls, Girls, Girls! project is in the exciting early planning stages with four photographers commissioned. “This part of the process is exciting to be a part of,” enthuses Ines. “We don’t know what will happen and their ideas and concepts may change along the way. Jennifer Pattison (UK- image over previous page) will be working on the theme of lullabies and recording audio to create sound installations alongside her photographs, Jocelyn Allen (UK - image bottom left) specialises in self portraiture and will be exploring working in a participatory way for the first time. Uzma Mohsin (India image top right) is currently underpinning her concept with research in academic institutions and libraries in the Punjab, whereas Andrea Fernandas (India - image bottom right) prefers her work to develop from conversations and is less specific about subject matter, allowing her work to evolve organically depending on who she meets, what she encounters and themes that spark her interest in situ.” You’ll be able to find out more about the project by following the Instagram and twitter feeds. @ReimagineGirls #ReimagineGirls 012


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The Singh Twins Mersey Miniatures Wolverhampton Art Gallery 20 May - 23 July

ALCHEMY BLACK COUNTRY #ALCHEMYBC Showcasing contemporary work from seven countries, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and the UK Alchemy will champion innovative British and international artists presenting exciting collaborations and new work across music, theatre, visual art, comedy and film. This year’s event focuses on the contribution of diaspora communities to British society. The festival, which takes place in partnership with London’s Southbank Centre, celebrates the dynamic cultural connections and exchange of ideas between South Asia and the UK. See bctouring.co.uk for full listings. 015


DAUGHTERS OF THE CURRY REVOLUTION 23 May Newhampton Arts Centre In Afreena Islam’s intimate piece she invites you to take a seat around her dinner table as she serves up second-hand stories of her father. £7.50 inc refreshments

BOLLYWOOD BRASS BAND ACOUSTIC 25 May Thimblemill Library Funky drummers and a hot 6-piece horn section play massive hits from Indian films, driven by the huge beat of the dhol drum. £3/5

CIRCUS RAJ 20 May Glasshouse Arts Centre A supergroup of elite street performers who combine their amazing skills and breathtaking acts of courage and bravery with dance, aerial acrobatics and rope walks. £5 adults / kids free 016


DESI PUB CRAWL 28 May Red Cow, Smethwick Hop onto the desi pub bus for a tour around the Black Country’s best kept secret; its Indian pubs. Meet the landlords, see some art, enjoy a complimentary pint and order some seriously tasty desi pub food. £10

BEATS WITHOUT BOUNDARIES 24 May Arena Theatre An electrifying night of international hip-hop as rap artists from South Asia and the UK mix rhymes to sound system beats, against a backdrop of video art. £8/10

FUNNY GIRLS WITH NOREEN KHAN 25 May Wolverhampton Art Gallery BBC DJ Noreen Khan hosts a night of comedy with her favourite female stand up comics, Sukh Ojla, Sindhu V and Shaista Aziz. £7


LOW HILL Capturing the community spirit and shared aspirations of the people of Low Hill in Wolverhampton a new book by the Low Hill Community Centre Group has been produced with images by photographer Nelson Douglas. Built on 330 acres of land bought by the local council in the wake of a government push in 1924 the once rural landscape on the outskirts of the city was filled five years later with 2,000 new homes. The estate was built on ‘garden city’ ideals, with a cartwheel-style layout and generous gardens offering families plenty of light and air - a welcome change from the slums of the inner city.

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Fast-forward through factory closures and redundancies, declining maintenance, the ‘right-to-buy’ scheme and structural problems it is clear the estate has had a lot to overcome. As Low Hill approaches its centenary it continues to evolve. The memories of those who have lived and worked there during the past century are captured in the book and aim to celebrate its past.


By using the community centre as a focal point Nelson, who has 10 years of documentary experience, took portraits of the people from the estate. “Being an outsider to this tightly knit community where individuals have considerable knowledge of each other, I tried to be open minded� comments Nelson. 019


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In total the project has taken around five months and in this time Nelson got to hear the concerns of its residents. “Within the short period of time on the estate, we have managed to highlight the problems this community is facing: the lack of employment, the changing demographic, limited access to open spaces for children, and safety”. He adds. “Like most small communities that are undergoing change within terms of ethnic migration, downturn in economic growth, lack of job security and a housing shortage, there is a fear that this community will be forgotten.” An exhibition will include a collection of images curated in collaboration with key members of the Low Hill community center. The book is available to buy online at blurb.co.uk/user/Nelson2000

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LOUISE BYNG Louise Byng’s distinctive hand drawn style has become instantly recognisable and she is fast becoming the goto illustrator to turn to. We’ve been digging her since she produced some great live work for Eye Candy several years ago but more recently the Halesowen-based artist produced 12 stunning 2-colour illustrations for a collaborative calendar for Creative Black Country which was printed by risograph masters Rope Press. 022


Can you describe your illustration style to us and the methods you use? The tools I use to create my illustrations haven’t changed much since I was younger; I still favour drawing with graphite, coloured pencils and playing with paper, cardboard, masking tape and other rudimentary materials. I describe my practice as being centred around using simple materials to explore complex topics. My style relies on the act of drawing and making by hand, piecing together the images using marks, ‘feeling’ my way around the paper gradually. I use bright Crayola colours and bold combinations to bring out the colours I see in the world more vividly, but my work is grounded in everyday life and interpreting the world to learn more.

You illustrated 12 months of CBC projects for their beautiful calendar - tell us about your process to produce the work and if there was anything particularly challenging? To create the calendar, I was drawing from different photographs from a variety of Creative Black Country activities. This is my favoured way of working for detailed studies, especially as it allows time to capture the details more deeply and take time to select what’s important to tell the story of the image. It was an amazing project to work on; a celebration of a myriad of people and projects, and I wanted to reflect this in the calendar. To demonstrate this I actively chose images focused on people for the drawings, rather than spoils from the projects or a focus on environments,

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and used an assortment of colour throughout, with zesty colours coming in the spring months, brights in summer and more muted colours in the autumn and winter months to reflect the changing nature of life and how projects at different times of year feel to be part of. As we were working in two colour risograph printing, I used a light box to draw  separate layers to build up the images. The challenge with this is thinking in colour despite only using black marks, and separating the images by tone in your mind as you go. Risograph and any manual printing process can be challenging as you don’t always know how things are going to turn out, but that’s also part of the beauty of it. You studied in the Black Country before heading to University - what do you think about the Black Country’s creative scene and talent? My foundation year at Stourbridge College was one of the most important times for developing my visual language and exploring what 024


was possible. The Longlands campus where we were based allowed for lots of playful exploration, putting work up on the walls and making a mess, and our final exhibition took place in empty shops in Stourbridge town centre. This feeling of being able to get out there and try things in different spaces in the Black Country was important, and I think it’s a great place for students to explore and try different ways of working. Now I’m back in the midlands following studying in Bournemouth, I also have a renewed sense of place and connection to where I’m from, and the creative scene here is something I am still unlocking, beyond the big players such as Wolverhampton Art Gallery and New Art Gallery Walsall, which, in my opinion, are crucial resources for the area, especially for young people. Which of your creative ‘tools’ could you not live without? My ‘magic’ sharpener is an essential. Sharp pencil, sharp mind. 025


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ROBOT COSSEY If you go down to the woods today... well not quite the woods but RSPB Sandwell Valley, then you are in for a BIG surprise. Last year, as part of the Imagine That! season Creative Black Country collaborated with RSPB to commission a new sculptural piece at their home. 026


Enlisting the services of talented Brewood based sculptor Robot Cossey an outdoor bed was produced out of wood to help bird watchers have a space to lay back with their binoculars and watch the birds fly overhead. With the help of some imaginative young people, who were attending workshops, a beautiful sleeping fox was chosen to complete the sculpture. To give it a 2017 update a sensory garden is being added to the sculpture as well as a path to go around it. With summer on its way it will be the ideal time to head over for a spot of twitching. RSPB, Sandwell, B43 5AG rspb.org.uk / 0121 357 7395

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DESI PUBS

Black Country pubs from the Punjab desipubs.co.uk Desi Pubs is an extraordinary story about migration, survival, friendship and food. For over forty years, the Black Country has been quietly incubating a gastro revolution, the ‘Desi pub’ and the story is about to be told via a new book which features images from photographer Stuart Whipps.   Authentic to the Black Country these classic English Pubs now serving ales alongside traditional Punjabi food, have redefined pub culture in Smethwick, West Bromwich, Wolverhampton and Walsall.   Asian landlords from the Black Country have been salvaging a struggling pub trade in the local area by reinventing failed venues for new communities. Today the area boasts around fifty Desi pubs that provide anything from a place where families lunch,  football fans unite,  and where loyal bhangra lovers relive the 80’s.   Landlords Bera, Jinder, Jeet, Dal, Amrik, Sulakhan and Lucky opened their pub doors to seven artists who produced new works for display. These seven pubs and their landlords influenced the artist’s creations capturing the heart and soul of each pub. Hand crafted pub signs, portrait photography, stain glass windows, and a mosaic now permanently exist in each pub, narrating this uniquely  British Asian phenomena found nowhere else in the world but here, Black Country Desi Pubs from the Punjab.   The limited edition publication, which is being produced in collaboration with Rope Press and New Art Exchange, is part of an ongoing body of work produced by Creative Black Country and will be available to buy online and direct at the pubs themselves. The book will feature artist commissions produced by Steven Cartwright, Jagdish Patel, Amand Chhabra, Sarvjit Sra, Caroline Jariwala, Andrew Gundon and Hardeep Pandhal. 029


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LIFE’S A BEACH

A taste of the British seaside in three caravans Bantock House Museum & Park - 7th, 8th, 9th July 2017 Lightwood’s House & Park - 13th,14th, 15th, 16th July 2017 Perilous donkey rides on the beach and rainy days spent shoving pennies in to the bandits at glitzy arcades, fairground dodgems and cheap kiss me quick hats are all memories from the great British seaside holiday. 034


It may have been relegated to the bottom of the list thanks to cheap overseas flights but for those of us born in the 60s, 70s and 80s, the annual summer getaway to the coast was likely our first fleeting glimpse of the delightful seaside.

and filled with sounds of the slots and bingo. Your caller clad in his Elvis outfit, tells stories of moving to this town “so every day can be a holiday”, whilst his assistant dreams of singing and dazzling the audience with her voice.

Now a project by Black Country Touring, in partnership with SO Festival supported by Creative Black Country and Magna Vitae, explores memories of these trips in a brand new show. Life’s a Beach will feature the stories captured from holidaymakers, residents and daytrippers to the seaside produced from interviews with people of the Black Country and Skegness. Each story will be presented in three specially converted caravans that capture those special memories.

Experience the caravan from hell. We’ve all been there, and so has everyone else. The tell-tale signs of the previous visitors are all too obvious and what lurks in the cupboards is anyone’s guess – the seagull with a beak like a razor or the creepy wetsuit that won’t lie down.

“We’ve interviewed a broad range of people from very different backgrounds across the Black Country and Skegness and heard some beautiful, funny, sad and heartwarming stories.” Comments Co Director Frances Land. “We have used these to create three very different short performances lasting up to twenty minutes each which will transport our audiences to the wonderful and eccentric world of our British seaside towns.” Enter a caravan and be transported to a seafront arcade. Pulsing neon

Finally, amongst all the grot and the glitz, meet true local heroes the lifeboat crew. Take your place at the sea’s edge and stare into the oily black water, following the light that searches the sea. Their stories, both funny and tragic, fill the space between. The Black Country may be the furthest region from the sea but that doesn’t stop thousands packing their picnic baskets as soon as the sun comes out. Join Black Country Touring for memories of those giant pink sugar dummies and trying to catch crabs in the rock pools when the seaside comes to the Black Country for one month this summer. 035


OUT OF DARKNESS Wolverhampton Art Gallery Until 4 June

A new exhibition launching at Wolverhampton Art Gallery aims to shed light, raise awareness and change perceptions on the growing population of homeless people in the city. Wherever you live it is hard to ignore the steep rise in homelessness on our streets and after reading a harrowing story in Wolverhampton’s Express & Star last year, about a rough sleeper who had passed away in a stairwell in the city, University of Wolverhampton oral historian Greig Campbell felt compelled to act. “There was a death of a girl called Hayley and they found the body on Queen Street. Apparently her body had been there for a number of hours.” Comments Greig. “I was horrified by that.” While Greig now lives in Liverpool his PHD study on Bilston Steel Works brings him to the city every month. “Obviously homelessness is becoming a more


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prolific problem on the streets of Wolverhampton. It is quite visible and every time I come back there are more people outside the bus and train station.” Greig decided to approach Wolverhampton Homeless Outreach and do some research they hoped would make a difference to change people’s perception. “I went down to the night shelter and what I realised is that they are constantly fighting fires; they are doing frontline stuff almost making up for the shortcomings and lack of long-term investment from the council.” Greig and the team at WHO applied for an award from Creative Black Country to support a project that they hoped would go some way to change views and give people a platform to have conversations about the subject. He enlisted the help of photographer and producer Laura Dicken. They were keen to have an inclusive approach to the project with the five participants that took part through the charity. Rather than taking a voyeuristic view following the individuals around with cameras they adopted a different approach. Each participant was invited to a skills session on photography and given a pack containing examples

of landscape, portraiture documentary photography.

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“I delivered a workshop with the participants going through different types of visual storytelling and gave them some tools and skills that they could then use to decide how they wanted to tell their own stories.” says Laura. Armed with a set of disposable cameras it was up to participants to tell the story of their day-to-day life as they chose; giving them a voice. “People pass by on their way to work or shopping and they don’t even think about the homeless person they see but I hope the photographs, stories and interviews will get people talking about it.” Through arranged meeting times the group then had feedback sessions with their newly developed photos. “Some of them have gone down the documentary style taking pictures of their friends, the community around them, support mechanisms and drinking buddies on the streets.” Comments Laura. However it was one particular participant that really stood out. “He is the closest you would find to a ‘romantic vagabond’,” says Greig. “He doesn’t live in the city centre like the others. He comes in to town for a job that gets him a bit of food and money and then he goes back 039


to his tent. He takes photos of landscapes, wildlife and forests. We were expecting the images to be very gritty; a narrative of drug use maybe, but he adds a balance. It could have all been very hardcore.” Living rough for seven years P sleeps by the canaI in Tettenhall, “It’s nice. There’s a lot of animals, I love wildlife. There’s a family of badgers come around at night and I leave them something to eat. They come around nearly every night and if I’m lucky they’ll bring their little ones with them as well.” He told Greig in one of his interviews. “Some people just categorise you. If you’re homeless you must be on drugs or an alcoholic. They don’t treat you very nice.I think that’s the hardest. Especially when you try and talk to them and they just don’t want to now.” The group’s images proved such good quality that they have been chosen for an exhibition at Wolverhampton Art Gallery, just metres away from where one of the participants sleeps. “When we told one of the participants that we’d be exhibiting at the Art Gallery he told us that he often sleeps in the stairwell, right next to the room where their work will be exhibited to the public. That is pretty incredible.” The exhibition will take place in the gallery’s old staff room which is covered in wallpaper and has a homely feel. An irony not lost on Greig and Laura. “It is an interesting juxtaposition. There’s a fireplace, a display cabinet, little tables and chairs, so it is almost like a post 1960’s living room and we are going to treat it as such. Normally in a living room you’d have photos of family and school photos but this will have the juxtaposition of people who don’t have a home. This is a romanticised version of a home, perhaps a home they want, used to have and lost or dream of.” While on the periphery of society this self documentary project offers the opportunity to get a glimpse in to the difficult and harsh world of living on the streets.  The project will now work with participants at Walsall’s Glebe Centre with a similar set of workshops.


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CRADLEY HEATH CREATIVE Cradley Heath Creative started in 2013 with members who either work in the arts or who have a well embedded practice in their lives. The group give profile to local artists and arts activity including organizing an annual programme of festivals. 2017 also sees them join The Big Sleuth and take their wonderful mobile venue the ‘Oss box’ out to events across the region. The group’s Fran Wilde tells us more. 042


What will the group be doing for the rest of 2017? Following our Arts Festival during May we will be part of the Women Chainmakers Festival in July, and the Christmas Lights in November. Some members of the group are interested in running a second festival, perhaps for film, so we will be looking at options for the autumn. We are going to be working with volunteers and students from Halesowen College on The Big Sleuth - the equivalent of The Big Hoot in 2015. Our bear will be decorated and permanently installed in Haden Hill Park in the summer. This is the first time our group has worked directly with young people, so it will be good experience.

What have been your favourite art events since you started the group? The Arts Festival is always fun and brings out people from the woodwork. Oss Box has provided a few - a food exchange at the Women Chainmakers Festival in 2015, creating a shadow puppet play - with the screen at the arched end. Paintball By Numbers - a whacking great image 10’ x 20’ - came out of a collective paint by numbers that we ran at a couple of festivals, and we decorated a young mulberry tree with old fashioned fabric light shades adorned with scrap jewellery as part of national tree decorating week.

The Oss Box is a brilliant idea - how did you come up with it? We were playing with the idea of a mobile venue to give artists and performers space to experiment, because managing a building was beyond our resources. A caravan was too restrictive, but a horse box gives open access and we have members who are skilled in construction and metal work. There was a trailer going on the internet for just about what we had in the bank, so Oss Box came our way. It’s available to organisations and individuals who want to use it for creative and community activity - we look to cover running costs and just ask that people have their own public liability insurance.

Can you tell us how your partnership with Haden Hill House and the stables are doing? What plans you have for the future? Last year, through our Open Access award from Creative Black Country, we started a working relationship with the Friends Group and museum staff at Haden Hill House. We ran five public events which gave us a practical basis for thinking about how we could work together. We recently had a meeting where we looked at opportunities for a Cradley Heath Creative presence at Haden Hill House’s open days, and how the House could be involved in our festival. One of our members would like to have a late night/overnight creative writing workshop in the museum. 043


SILVER THREAD TAPESTRIES TOUR 2-30 June, mac birmingham 1-5th July, St Matthews Church, Walsall Town Centre 6 July, Collingwood Centre, Pheasey 11-30 July, New Art Gallery Walsall More venues to be confirmed

If you have been lucky enough to see Grayson Perry’s wonderful The Vanity of Small Differences on tour then you will have an idea of what Silver Thread Tapestries is all about. A project that brings together the delicate nature of sewing and community, telling stories of people, places and spaces. 044


Produced by Walsall Council’s now-disbanded Creative Development Team the project ran for nearly a year and involved hundreds of local people, both as storytellers and sewers. The project was the brainchild of Creative Development Team Manager Maxwell Bailey  who was awarded Arts Council funding for the project. Sadly Max passed away before seeing the finished pieces. “People came from far and wide during the first three months of the project, to have their say on what should feature in each tapestry.” comments Deb Slade of the newly formed (out of the ashes of the council team) Creative Factory CIC. It was the job of Artist Hunt Emerson to turn their stories into illustrations which were then loving stitched into more than 12 square metres of fabric. Each tapestry features a different area of the borough, capturing Walsall’s living history and diverse geographical communities. With an Open Access award from Creative Black Country the team at Creative Factory CIC are touring the tapestries across the region as well as continuing to show them in different parts of the Walsall Borough.  The group are looking for new venues to show them, if you would like to host the tapestries please call Deb Slade 07583162137 or email creativefactory@hotmail.co.uk For tour  dates please visit creativefactory.org. uk  or follow the tour on facebook via ‘Walsall Silver Thread Tapestries Project’. 045


WIN TICKETS TO V FESTIVAL 2017 Weston Park, 19–20 August vfestival.com

This year’s V Festival headliners, Jay Z and Pink will be accompanied by Ellie Goulding, who will also be bringing her infectious electro-pop sound to the line-up, alongside Grime upstart Stormzy, Garage comeback act Craig David, Mercurywinning hip hop artist Dizzee Rascal and Stateside superstar Jason Derulo. Also heading to the festival this summer is dance DJ Pete Tong. The Ibiza legend will bring the sound of summer with his essential Ibiza Classics orchestra show. We have two pairs of tickets to giveaway. HOW TO ENTER Send your name address and date of birth to competitions@fusedmagazine.com. Put the name of the festival in the subject box. To increase your chances of winning LIKE us on facebook.com/fusedpublications, follow us on twitter @Fusedmagazine and join our mailing list. Winners will be notified via email 2 weeks prior to the festival start. For full T&Cs see fusedmagazine.com. DEADLINE for entry: 29th July 2017

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rhampton and the

ival for Wolve A new comedy fest

25 OCTOBER

TO

Black Country

07 NOVEMBER

funny-things.co.uk @FunnythingsBC #funnythings


ATOMIC POP WONDER The Stourbridge Music Archive

A new project has been launched to collect memories and memorabilia of Stourbridge’s musical heritage. Through a collected archive and set of events Atomic Pop Wonder will celebrate the music, fashion, design and the cultural impact of the town during the mid 1980s to mid 1990s focussing on three key bands: The Wonder Stuff, Pop Will Eat Itself and Ned’s Atomic Dustbin. 048


The founders of the project are working towards collating and collecting t-shirts, artworks, photographs, memorabilia, records and fan stories to display in a popup space in the town centre, as well as producing a publication, to ensure the archive is saved for the benefit of future generations. The project follows April’s news that the former Pop Will Eat Itself frontman, Clint Mansell, has been shortlisted for a prestigious Ivor Novello Award for the original score for film High-Rise. Mansell, who now lives in LA, is in high demand for his film scores and has had numerous success working on films including Pi, Requiem for a Dream, Sahara, The Wrestler and Black Swan. 2016-18 sees the bands reach their 30-year milestone with all three bands still successfully touring. During the 80s and 90s the bands successfully charted, toured the globe and gained dedicated fans. The Wonder Stuff’s 1988 album release The Eight Legged Groove Machine charted at no.18 and in September 1989 the band had their first Top 20 hit with Don’t Let Me Down Gently, which preceded the release of the album Hup in October (UK number 5). The band went on to gain further chart success, with number one single Dizzy, released

with comedian Vic Reeves, as well as headlining Walsall’s Bescot Stadium. Ned’s Atomic Dustbin drew huge crowds at their debut Reading Festival appearance in 1990 and a year later were on Top of the Pops with their single Happy (which reached number 16 in the charts). The band headlined the NME Stage at Glastonbury and went on to do a worldwide tour. Their singles continually charted higher in the US than the UK. The first single released by Pop Will Eat Itself, Poppies Say Grrr!, was the NME’s Single of the Week and other releases Can U Dig It?, Wise Up! Sucker and X Y & Zee, among others, reached the UK top 40 charts. They were also the first band to perform on Top of the Pops without being on a record label with single Get The Girl! Kill the Baddies. If you have items or memories you would like to share for the archive, events and online display please get in touch by email atomicpopwonder@ gmail.com.

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BEARWOOD STREET FESTIVAL 11 June 2017, 11.30am - 5.30pm High Street, Bearwood Free Odd things have been happening in Bearwood of late and it seems to have something to do with the reinstallation of the town’s iconic timepieces. Paranormal investigator Ivor Goosebump has been recruited and is reporting his findings in a blog https://ivorgoosebump.wordpress.com/ Could timepieces have caused time to go wrong? All will be revealed at Bearwood’s first ever community-led music and arts festival with a unique theatre trail, performed by Highly Sprung, that will help unveil the mystery. Characters from Bearwood’s past and future will help visitors find the missing ‘cogs’ needed to repair time. Highly Sprung’s innovative blend of physical performance and animated storytelling is sure to excite audiences and they’ll be plenty of festival goers to get involved with. Younger visitors will have plenty to keep them busy with futuristic themed crafts, games, and street art workshops. Live music on the main stage will reflect Bearwood’s eclectic musical heritage with something to suit all tastes. Headliners The Electric Swing Circus bring an explosive fusion of sounds that reverberates back through time.   There’ll also be cultural and audio feasts provided by the Community Stage, some of the best in regional street foods in the Food Parade, and a host of local entrepreneurs and crafters showcasing their goods at Bearwood Indoor Market. To keep up to date on all the details visit wearebearwood.org.  If you’d like to volunteer at the festival then email the team on bearwoodfestival@gmail.com.

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ON GOING EXHIBITIONS

DISCOVER DINOSAURS Until 13 August Bilston Craft Gallery Discover what makes a dinosaur! Uncover fossils of these fearsome creatures that dominated the planet over 65 million years ago and lived alongside awe-inspiring marine reptiles and pterosaurs. Be inspired by a fullsize T-Rex skull; be dwarfed by a replica Baryonyx dinosaur and get to know Beaky, the resident Pterosaur. Learn more about the life of dinosaurs, discover the difference between herbivores and carnivores and unearth links between these incredible creatures and modern creatures such as birds and crocodiles. Chill out in the ice age experience with Fluffly, the life-size mammoth.

BRICK WONDERS – ANCIENT, MODERN, AND NATURAL WONDERS MADE FROM LEGO BRICKS Until 4 July Wolverhampton Art Gallery Tickets from £4 Featuring over 70 LEGO models, the exhibition appeals to all ages whilst teaching creativity and expression. The exhibition covers not only the seven Ancient Wonders, but also Seven Old, Modern and Natural wonders. LEGO bricks are unique in their appeal, having been a top selling toy for over 50 years. The use of this toy as an artistic medium provides an instant engagement to attract both children and adults alike.

SCENES OF WALSALL Until 16 July New Art Gallery Walsall Many scenes of Walsall have been collected since the establishment of Walsall’s public art collection in 1892. In this exhibition, to help celebrate the Permanent Collection’s 125th birthday, a range of these are on display, from a lithograph of Walsall High Street in 1845 to contemporary photography.

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ON GOING EXHIBITIONS

JOANNE MASDING PLASTER GHOST FINGER CAST Until 30 July New Art Gallery Walsall Masding is interested in the ways in which we perceive and experience objects and images, particularly within an increasingly digital and immaterial world. Whether it be in the world of museums and galleries or within the context of online experiences our understanding is mediated by context; selection and display, language, reproduction, shifts of scale and editing. For this exhibition, Masding has borrowed from the language of museum displays, hanging systems, catalogue reproductions, signage, text, conservation and art handling to create a series of brand new works.

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RACHEL GOODYEAR CATCHING SIGHT 26 May - 3 September New Art Gallery Walsall Goodyear is renowned for her drawing-based practice which hints at a world of the unconscious mind. Her cast of characters, sourced from old magazines, books and anonymous photographs, often appear within claustrophobic spaces or are set against heavy and brooding washes of ink and watercolour. They are beautiful, intense and psychologically charged. For her exhibition in Walsall, Goodyear will create a brand new immersive installation.

SOHEILA SOKHANVARI HEART OF GLASS 26 May - 3 September New Art Gallery Walsall Soheila Sokhanvari is an Iranian-born artist whose multidisciplinary work weaves layers of political histories with bizarre, humorous and mysterious narratives that are then left to the viewer’s own sensitivity to complete. Sokhanvari is drawn to traumas that linger in the collective consciousness or cause mass amnesia, and yet resist conventional representation.


BLACK COUNTRY DAY The Black Country celebrates its heritage during July and this year there is plenty to see... THE CHAINMAKERS FESTIVAL 1 July, From 11am Cradley Heath High Street Stalls, Face painting, circus skils, funfair, music and theatre as well as Cradley Heath Creatives and the Oss Box. HALESOWEN CARNIVAL 1 July, 12pm-8pm Free entry Fair, food, refreshments, activities, market stalls and music and entertainment all day long. The crowning of the Carnival King and Queen will start the day which will be full of activities, including for the first time - wrestling! The theme this year is the circus and after the success of the dog show last year this will happen in the arena again.

STOURBRIDGE CARNIVAL 2 July Stourbridge High Street closes for stages of live music, DJ’s, a kids funfair, food and craft stalls. WALLHEATH BOSTIN SUMMER FAYRE 2 July, From 12pm The Horse & Jockey Live music, bands, food & drink, stalls

Library £3 With compare Billy Spakemon, Tom Heyes, Eileen Ward Birch, Ron Popple, Black Country Gaz, Jonathan Hipkiss, Scarbelly Blues Band. DUDLEY BLACK COUNTRY FESTIVAL EVENT 15 July, 11am-6pm Stone Street

TEENAGE MARKET 15 & 16 July THE UPPER GORNAL Red House Glass Cone FUN DAY Wordsley 8 July, 12-4pm Young people will The recreation ground, be on site, from age The Quarry, Vale Street 12-23, selling and Fairground rides, bouncy performing. An amazing castle, Punch & Judy, showcase of talented vintage cars, BBQ, entrepreneurs from auction face painting, across the Black stalls. Country. NETHERTON PARK FUN DAY 8 July, 10am-5pm Northfield Road Food & drink, children’s rides, classic cars, live bands, stalls. BLACK COUNTRY VARIETY SHOW 14 July, From 7pm Great Bridge Library Tickets direct from

CRADLEY HEATH OUTDOOR COMEDY FESTIVAL 20-23 July, From 7pm on Thurs and 2pm on Fri-Sun Hollybush Arts Venue, Newtown Lane A four day outdoor comedy festival including Black Country acts and real ale. See bushcradley.co.uk 053


MAY and ‘Disorder. Support and DJ.

PARADISE LOST (LIES UNOPENED BESIDE ME) 18 May 2017, 7.30pm Thimblemill Library £4 advance / £5 on the door A one man staging of Milton’s epic poem Paradise Lost. Combining theatre, comedy and movement this is a journey through the story of the creation of everything, condensed into 75 minutes. TRANSMISSION THE SOUND OF JOY DIVISION 19 May Newhampton Arts Centre £7 Advance / £9 On the door One of the best Joy Division tribute around, expect all the indie dancefloor classics:’ Love Will Tear Us Apart’, ‘Transmission’

THE SINGH TWINS: MERSEY MINIATURE SERIES 20 May - 23 July Wolverhampton Art Gallery International artists The Singh Twins explore their Indian heritage and the coming together of east and west, in the past and up to the present day, in a series of exquisite miniature paintings on display at Wolverhampton Art Gallery. Here the Singh Twins’ contemporary Miniatures Series continues to inform the on-going and mutual influences between Indian and British culture and art, and presents to viewers how traditionally

perceived boundaries between places, cultures and times begin to dissolve. Promoted by Wolverhampton Art Gallery and Creative Black Country. This event is part of Alchemy Black Country

CIRCUS RAJ 20 May, 11am & 2pm Glasshouse Arts Centre Adults £5 / Children free This veritable “supergroup” of Rajasthan’s elite street circus combine their amazing skills while they perform breathtaking acts of courage and bravery - preserved over many centuries from the time of the Maharajas they take this ancient, mystical and magical circus format to even greater heights. Circus Raj’s cast of dancers, illusionists, aerialists, acrobats and rope walkers, with the eye-watering displays


by their fakir, present a colourful, vibrant, fastmoving extravaganza of intrigue, drama, feats of daring, music, laughter and surprise. This event is part of Alchemy Black Country

Uzma Mohsin (India), This event is part of Andrea Fernandes Alchemy Black Country (India), Jennifer Pattison (UK) and Jocelyn Allen (UK) present Girls, Girls, Girls! a work in progress. This event is part of Alchemy Black Country

INDIA ROCKS! (OR NOT!) 20 May, 6pm Wolverhampton Art Gallery Free Three panellists discuss all things Indian from a uniquely British Asian perspective hosted by BBC Journalist Ruchi Tandon. This will be followed by exclusive music from mercury nominated DJ Swami with ‘Punjabtronix’, where sounds of Punjab meets cutting edge electronica. Explore The Black Country’s Punjab through a prism of women’s lives. Four talented photographers:

OM SHANTI OM (CERT 12) 22 May, 8.15pm BANGLA BRUMMIES Lighthouse Media 21 May, 7pm Brasshouse Community Centre £8.15 / £6.75 Centre Om Shanti Om, £2 2007, directed and Bangla Brummies & co-written by top begins in the 1970’s choreographer Farah and centres around Khan, tells the story of two young Asian bachelors. Hisham ends Om (Shah Rukh Khan), a junior artist working up marrying a white in 70s Bollywood who Irish girl, while the other aspires to be a huge Malik, is wed to a bride from Bangladesh. When Bollywood actor. He is in love with Shantipriya Malik’s daughter grows (Deepika Padukone), the up and falls in love with beautiful film star, but a non-Muslim white has no hope of winning man, trouble ensues. her heart. When both This is a funny unexpectedly meet their but insightful look demise, they appear into ‘approval and acceptance’ in marriage again in the modern day, but this time roles have and how the lives and been reversed. attitudes of two British This event is part of Bengali families change Alchemy Black Country over time. 055


DAUGHTERS OF THE CURRY REVOLUTION 23 May, 12pm, 2pm & 7pm Newhampton Arts Centre £7.50 (including refreshments) In this intimate performance, Afreena Islam invites you to take a seat around her dinner table as she serves up second-hand stories of her father’s past, present, and what little she imagines is left of his future. This is an intimate performance for a maximum audience of 10, book tickets in advance to avoid disappointment. This event is part of Alchemy Black Country THE LUNCHBOX (CERT PG) 23 May, 2pm Forest Arts Centre An ill-tempered office worker (Irrfan Khan,

Slumdog Millionaire and Inferno) receives the wrong tiffin (lunch box). A young housewife (Nimrat Kaur) intended the lunch for her husband with a note to try and rekindle some romance in their relationship. The mistake is quickly discovered and a pen pal friendship between the housewife and office worker ensues. This event is part of Alchemy Black Country

BEATS WITHOUT BOUNDARIES 24 May, 7.30pm Arena Theatre £10 / £8 Join us for an electrifying night of international hip-hop as artists from South Asia and the UK mix rhymes to sound system beats, against a backdrop of video art. Beats Without Boundaries is the culmination of an

international project, pairing UK artists with South Asian rappers, crossing cultural and geographical borders through a shared love of hip-hop. The line-up of artists features pioneers in their home countries who don’t shy away from important issues, including: Black Zang, Ashanthi De Alwis, Paradise, Diverse, Dee MC, and Naezy. This is a unique opportunity to see these artists come together to perform in the UK. This event is part of Alchemy Black Country

BOLLYWOOD BRASS BAND ACOUSTIC 25 May, 7.30pm Thimblemill Library £3 advance / £5 on the door Funky drummers and a hot 6-piece horn section play massive hits from Indian films, driven by the huge beat of the


dhol drum. Wielding saxophones and a colossal sousaphone, the Bollywood Brass Band are one of the most colourful, joyful and exhilarating acts around. The show features video projections of Bollywood dance sequences from classic movies, bringing an extra dimension to the music. This event is part of Alchemy Black Country

FUNNY GIRLS WITH NOREEN KHAN 25 May, 7.45pm Wolverhampton Art Gallery £7 BBC DJ Noreen Khan is back in town! Noreen hosts a night of comedy with her favourite stand up comics, Sukh Ojla, Sindhu V and Shaista

Aziz. For the first time, this all female line up will share more than a few good jokes. This event is part of Alchemy Black Country

ANITA & ME 26 May, 6.30pm Brasshouse Community Centre £2 Based on the bestselling novel by the Black Country’s own Meera Syal, 12 year old Meena lives in the fictional Black Country mining village of Tollington in the 1970s. The only Asian girl living in the area, Meena’s life starts to look up when she meets 14 year old Anita – daring, blond and beautiful. As Meena begins to idolise Anita, her life becomes torn between her culture and the rock’n’roll lifestyle of the era.

COMEDY AT THE GRAND 26 May Grand Theatre Darren Harriet & Bec Hill bring a night of comedy to the Encore Lounge.

RAJASTHAN HERITAGE BAND 27 May, 7pm Newhampton Arts Centre £8 / £6.50 / Family £26 The Rajasthan Heritage Brass Band is a living embodiment of this landscape, a spectacular celebration of its vibrant and colourful lifestyle, their music and dance a heady, exciting and hypnotic reflection of this enchanting region. Eight musicians from the villages surrounding Jaipur, Rajasthan’s renowned “Pink City”, make up the brass core of this rousing new ensemble on trumpet, saxophone, tuba, sousaphone and trombone,


supplemented with clarinet and keyboard against an insistent background of percussion on side, bass and dhol drums. Dancing to this uplifting music is unavoidable and is represented in two unique styles – Kalbelia, or Sapera, and Bollywood. This event is part of Alchemy Black Country MINI-MINDFULNESS 28 May, 9.30am10.30am & 10.45am11.45am Thimblemill Library FAMALAM event: Join Preya Chauhan from Cherish Healing for this interactive sensory wellbeing session. Experience and learn simple ways to enjoy Mindfulness. Suitable for children aged 7yrs+ please wear comfortable clothes.

DESI PUB BUS CRAWL 28 May, 2.30pm

The Red Cow, Smethwick £10 Hop onto the desi pub bus for a tour around the Black Country’s best kept secret; its Indian pubs. Meet the landlords, see some desi pub art and grab a pint! Each desi pub serves speciality desi grills and a range of home cooked curries. Tours start from 2.30pm and finish at 5pm. Produced by Creative Black Country. This event is part of Alchemy Black Country

NORTHERN BALLET - THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PYJAMAS 30-31 May Grand Theatre The UK’s foremost narrative ballet company, Northern Ballet, present this heartbreaking story through dance for the very first time.

GREEN MAN CELEBRATION 30 May, 11am-3pm Oak House Museum Oak House will be hosting a green man celebration with music and dancing from Oak House favourites ‘Gloriana’. There will be themed quizzes, trails and crafts to keep the family entertained. Learn all about the Green Men and traditions that surround them. Keep your eyes peeled as you may see a ‘Green Man’ making an appearance around the grounds! Face painting and glitter tattoos available from Brushstrokes and Glitters. Charges apply for crafts and face painting. Tea room open courtesy of friends of the Oak House serving Hot and cold drinks, Ice creams, cakes and light refreshments. MANOR HOUSE BY THE SEA 30 May – 2 June, 11am3pm The Manor House Museum  Free  Come to the seaside – on your doorstep. The


JUNE Manor House beach will be open this week. Crafts, a treasure hunt and refreshments will be available. There will be a charge for some activities. THE SEEING SMALL MICROSCOPE AND ART PROJECT 1 June, 1:30-3:30pm Wildside Activity Centre Open to adults and children.  Booking a place is essential - ring 01920 572240, £3 per head An exciting project uniting art and science: Observe nature under the microscope and with the help of an artist contribute to a communal art piece of microscope drawings. 

HALF TERM: PAINT THE TOWN 1 June Newhampton Arts Centre

Get inspired for Paint the Day on 24th June. In this workshop you will get out and about experimenting with photography and art techniques.

THE PAINS OF BEING PURE AT HEART 2 June Newhampton Arts Centre Advance tickets £13/ More on the door Future Perfect presents The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart After garnering a widespread acclaim from the likes of NME you don’t want to miss this electrifying performance from the New York 5 piece. 

THE LITTLE BIT THE BOYS ADMIRE 3 June, 7.30pm The Lamp, Brownhills £7 (early bird), £8 Ladies and gentlemen, Miss Marie Lloyd, that pulchritudinous personification of the Golden Age of Music Hall, invites you to an evening of entertainment excellence in the Euterpian and Terpsichorean Arts she’ll sing and dance a bit, sir! Yes, Miss Marie Lloyd will tell the story of her astonishing and inspiring rise to become the Queen of British Entertainment. With frequent assistance and general factual correction from that virtuoso of contrariwise confusion - she dresses as a man, madam! Miss Vesta Tilley, rival super star, trend setter and leader of fashion. Two rule-breaking ladies, rivalry, intrigue and a performers strike! A lifetime and more in an evening! You can even join in with some of Marie and Vesta’s many famous songs – we bet you know them! 059


The CAMRA Wolverhampton Beer & Cider Festival returns.

REMEMBER ME: CHARLOTTE HODES 3 June - 3 September Wolverhampton Art Gallery The visually powerful new work will consist of 120 individual wall-mounted ceramic pieces, arranged to create a single image that combines elegant historic patterns with contemporary and digital imagery. The work will form part of a new exhibition at the Gallery this Summer and will be shown alongside Hodes’ existing works. These include a collection of intricate papercuts as well as a table top installation of over 350 plates, which demonstrate the artist’s playful, yet challenging approach to the aesthetic potential of domestic objects, both past and present.

SIGNOR BAFFO 8 June, 6.30pm & 7pm Sandwell College, Central Campus £3 / £10 Family An interactive children’s show, Signor Baffo opens his restaurant to children aged 3+. There’s chaos in the kitchen when Signor Baffo is left in charge. Expect plates-full of fun, with generous helpings of silliness, mischief and adventure. What’s the best way to mix meatballs with spaghetti? How do you make a chicken lay an egg, and how does a sausage roll? All is revealed in the culinary chaos of Signor Baffo’s kitchen. WOLVERHAMPTON BEER & CIDER FESTIVAL 2017 8-10 June Newhampton Arts Centre

STREETS PAVED WITH GOLD 9 June, 7pm The Heritage Centre, Whitmore Reans £5 / £3 under 16 Originally written as theatre one man play, Victor tells the story of Augustus Cleveland Johnson as he disembarks at Tilbury Docks in London on a cold, grey and wet November morning in 1948, during the time that thousands of people left their homelands in the Caribbean to come to England. This is the story of his new beginning in a foreign land and the humble beginnings of British African Caribbean people. Come along to follow his personal journey and share his dreams, hopes and aspirations.


CREATIVE TECH FOR GOOD 11 June, 10am-1pm (6 places) 1.30pm4.30pm (6 places) Thimblemill Library FAMALAM event: ‘Creative Tech for Good’ mini project challenges you to get hands-on with creative technology to build, design and programme gadgets for social good with Creative Technologist Ben Neal - How about a rubbish bin that tells you a joke or sings you a song every time you put something in the bin? Suitable for 8 yrs+ all tech/equipment/ resources provided

STEWART LEE CONTENT PROVIDER 21 June Grand Theatre After four years writing and performing his TV show Stewart Lee’s

Comedy Vehicle, Content Provider is Stewart’s first brand new full-length show since the award-winning Carpet Remnant.

THE GIANT BALLOON SHOW 22 June, 7pm Penn Hall School £3 Adult / £1.50 Child The GIANT BALLOON SHOW will have the audiences in stitches and in awe simultaneously. Expect feverous balloon sculptures, high energy comic performance and of course the all important giant balloon! Take everything you know about balloons, and twist that into a theatrical experience, which can tour events, festivals, theatres or libraries. The show works both indoors and outdoors, requiring very little performance space. The set up is quick and easy as everything is

self-contained in the custom made beautiful Balloon cart.

PAINT THE DAY 2017 24 June, 9am–5pm Newhampton Arts Centre A challenge, competition, exhibition and festival all in one. ARTISTS’ CHALLENGE DAY: The third annual Paint the Day is open to professional, amateur and under 18s artists and photographers. Paint the Day sets the challenge of capturing a scene from the Whitmore Reans area in Wolverhampton in just one day. From traditional watercolour to abstract collage, you can interpret the scene in any visual style. Your finished picture will be displayed in the Gallery Hall at Newhampton Arts Centre in the public exhibition. Prices apply 061


JULY WINDIBOPS 30 June, 6.30pm Uplands Manor Primary School £3 adult / £2 child / £9 Family Windibops is a 50 minute rib-tickling, inclusive and fun dance theatre piece for children and their families aged 5 -100. Volta Flatulence, Caroline Windybottom and Daisy Parphead invite you into the Windibops laboratory to investigate flatulence (yes we mean farts) and if it has an impact on global warming. Three talented performers manoevre in this comical, fun world to combine high quality dance, humour and some strange sounds, smells and amusing characters. Moving lab tables, fart jars, cows and test tubes all create this colourful interactive experience. BANSTOCK 1July Bantock Park Songwriters Garden Party 062

HELIOSPHERE Sandwell and Birmingham Mela 2 July birminghammela.com 70,000 people turn out to the largest Asian music festival in the UK each year which takes place over the weekend of the 1 and 2 July at Victoria Park in Smethwick. Jam-packed with top acts, dancers, a fairground, food stalls and attractions the Mela also hosts live performance due to its partnership with the recently formed Mela Network. This year the Mela Network will be bringing the stunning Heliosphere to the event. Creating the illusion of flying, a helium filled balloon rises, falls and glides overhead, suspending a balletic aerialist below tumbling and turning from ground level to twenty meters. Described as astonishing, beautiful and exotic the Mela will be the perfect event to see the show.


LOVELY LETTERS 2 July, 10am-12noon Thimblemill Library FAMALAM event: In this crafty workshop we will strive to better understand the importance of empathy by writing lovely letters to strangers in need, with author, poet and all round good egg - Jodi Ann Bickley from One Million Lovely Letters. Suitable for families.

LIFE’S A BEACH 7-9 July 2017 Bantock House Museum & Park A taste of the British seaside in three caravans

SUMMER FAYRE SUMMER FAMILY FUN DAY 9 July, 12pm-4pm Oak House Museum To celebrate the 3rd anniversary of the opening of the Oak House barns visitor centre they are holding a summer fayre. There will be musical mayhem workshops with Andy Casserley, live music from Ian Casey and family magic and comedy from Ron Popple There will be craft activities, tombola and stalls to browse. Tea room will be available courtesy of the friends of Oak House Museum. GRLPWR 9 July, 10am-12noon Thimblemill Library FAMALAM event: We live in a world where over 66 million girls are out of education, where 7 out of 10 girls feel they’re not good enough and the top teen girl problem is appearance. GRLPWR is an emotional well-being education program aimed to raise self

esteem in girls through positive psychology, mindfulness and visual art. This taster session will introduce some of these ideas and will be delivered by Caroline Scotcher founder of Self School CiC. Suitable for secondary aged girls (and boys) YEW TREE BY THE SEA 15 July Redwoood Rd, Yew Tree Estate, Walsall WS5 4LB They can’t take Yew Tree to the seaside but they can bring the seaside to Yew Tree. Join them for a fun day out.

LIFE’S A BEACH 13-16 July Lightwood’s House & Park A taste of the British seaside in three caravans 063


BASH STREET THEATRE 15 July Bantock Park ECOTOTS 15 July (Workshop repeated: 11am-12noon / 1pm2pm / 2.30-3.30pm) Bleakhouse Library (Garden) FAMALAM event: The effects of climate change are more prominent than ever before, and it’s becoming increasingly crucial that we teach our kids the importance of doing good work to help the planet. Ecotots is Northfileld Ecocentre’s programme of outdoor sessions with toddlers and pre-schoolers. This session will introduce gardening to little fingers and include plenty of sensory experiences while we learn about our environment through fun games and outdoor activities. Please keep an eye on the weather and wear suitable clothing for getting muddy and bring sunscreen/waterproofs - this workshop will go ahead whatever the weather! 064

Suitable for families with toddlers/pre-schoolers aged 2yrs-5yrs. ROCK AND ROLL SUNDAY 16 July Bantock Park THE SEEING SMALL MICROSCOPE AND ART PROJECT 16 July, 10:30am12:30pm Wildside Activity Centre Open to adults and children.   Booking a place is essential - ring 01920 572240, £3 per head An exciting project uniting art and science: Observe nature under the microscope and with the help of an artist contribute to a communal art piece of microscope drawings.  CRAFT FAIR 22 - 23 July Bantock Park ARCHAEOLOGY WEEK 25-27 July, 12pm-5pm, 30 July 2pm-5pm Oak House Museum It’s the council for British Archaeology ‘Festival of Archaeology’ and Oak

House will be joining in by running lots of fun events, tours, crafts and quizzes all based around Archaeology. Become a palaeontologist and excavate the remains of dinosaurs on the edge of the Oak House Ship Wreck. There will also be trails and quizzes around the house and grounds. OUT OF TIME.. MOD WEEKENDER 2017 28-29 July Newhampton Arts Centre The Out of Time weekender is back with plenty more hip shakin’ than before and with a new summertime date. RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS 30 July, 11am-12noon Thimblemill Library FAMALAM event: In this workshop with illustrator Louise Byng we’ll practise the art of being kind to ourselves and each other by making up crafty care packages including badges, zines and temporary tattoos. These little care packages can be given out to people, kept for yourself or created as


random acts of kindness and left someplace to cheer up someone’s day. Suitable for 7 yrs+ UNTOLD 11-18 August Newhampton Arts & Centre, Temple Street Studio/gallery & Asylum Art Gallery The 70th Anniversary of the Partition of India and the Independence of India and Pakistan at different venues across the city of Wolverhampton. Other dates include Bantock House Park and Museum 11 August–11 September

FUNNY THINGS 25 October - 7 November funny-thinks.co.uk @FunnyThingsBC When reports from the Office of National Statistics stated that Wolverhampton was the unhappiest place in the UK, locals didn’t agree, and now the organisers of new comedy festival Funny Things are going to prove it isn’t true. Celebrating the Black Country’s great humour the festival will create opportunities for the local community to participate alongside well known headline stand-up comedians Jimmy Carr, Milton Jones, John Bishop, Tom Stade  and  Henning Wehn who will all be appearing at Wolves Civic. Producer Jenny Smith comments: “We want to prove Wolverhampton isn’t the most miserable place in the UK. This festival is going to explore humour in lots of way, not just through stand-up comedy.” With a Funny marketplace, a comic and zine fair, sing-a-long Rocky Horror Show (and late night comedy drag), a comedy conference and a night with Pam Ayres the eclectic line-up will be enhanced with a host of newly commissioned works. Comedian Janice Connolly (a.k.a Barbara Nice) is Guest Artistic Director of the event so expect to see plenty of hilarious goings on with lots more acts and events to come and a full programme announcement in the summer. 065


VENUE DIRECTORY WOLVERHAMPTON Arena Theatre Wulfruna Street, WV1 1SE 01902 321321 arena.wlv.ac.uk @Arena_Theatre Asylum Art Gallery 21 Chapel Ash, Clifton St, WV3 0TZ theasylumartgallery. com @AsylumGalleryWM Bantock House Museum & Park Finchfield Road, WV3 9LQ wolverhamptonart.org. uk/visit/bantock/ @BantockHouse Bilston Craft Gallery Mount Pleasant Wolverhampton West Midlands WV14 7LU wolverhamptonart. org.uk @BilstonCraftGal Civic & Wulfrun Halls North Street, WV1 1RD wolvescivic.co.uk @Wolvescivic 066

The Heritage Centre Clifford Street, Whitmore Reans, WV6 6AA 01902 421792 Lighthouse Media Centre The Chubb Buildings, Fryer St, WV1 1HT 01902 716055 light-house.co.uk @lighthousemedia Newhampton Arts Centre Dunkley St, Wolverhampton, WV1 4AN 01902 572090 newhamptonarts.co.uk @Newhampton Penn Hall School Vicarage Road, WV4 5HP 01902 558355 Temple Street Studio/ Gallery 32 Temple St, WV2 4AN templestreetstudios. co.uk Wildside Activity Centre Hordern Road, Whitmore Reans, WV6 0HAÂ

01902 572240 wildsideac.co.uk @wildsideac Wolverhampton Art Gallery Lichfield St, WV1 1DU wolverhamptonart. org.uk @WolvArtGallery


SANDWELL Bleakhouse Library Bleakhouse Rd, Oldbury B68 9DS

Thimblemill Library Thimblemill Road, Smethwick, B67 5RJ 0121 429 2039 @thimblemilllib

Brasshouse Community Centre Brasshouse Lane Communuty Centre, Brasshouse Lane, Smethwick, B66 1BA 0121 555 5672 nsdt.org.uk @Brasshouse_NSDT

Uplands Manor Primary School Addenbrook Road, Smethwick, B67 6HT 0121 429 2039

Lightwood’s House & Park Adkins Lane, Bearwood, B67 5JB

DUDLEY / STOURBRIDGE

Oak House Museum Oak Road, West Bromwich 0121 553 0759 @SandwellMuseums The Red Cow Pub 296 High Street, Smethwick, B66 3NL 0121 558 0272 Sandwell College Central Campus, 1 Spon Lane, West Bromwich, B70 6AW 0121 253 6629

Glasshouse Arts Centre Glasshouse College, Wollaston Rd, Amblecote, Stourbridge, DY8 4HF 01384 399433 ruskin-mill.org.uk

WALSALL Forest Arts Centre Hawbush Road, WS3 1AG 0300 555 2898 forestartscentre.co.uk Goscote Greenacres Community Garden Goscote Lane WS31SJ @GoscoteGreen The Lamp at Brownhills Community Association Chester Road North, Brownhills, WS8 7JW 01543 452119 thelamparts.co.uk @thelamparts The Manor House Museum Hall Green Road, West Bromwich, 0121 588 2985 New Art Gallery Walsall Gallery Square, WS2 8LG thenewartgallerywalsall. org.uk

@newartgallery 067


Area Black Country Special Edition  

This is a special edition diving in to the culture of The Black Country. Featuring art exhibitions, festivals, interviews and exciting new p...

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