A Place Without a Name – starting points

The focus of my commission centres around places in Dudley that are found on the outskirts or ones that are away from the hustle and bustle of the main town centre.  Places include pieces of wasteland around the Black Country Museum and Castle, canal towpaths, top of the High Street where a couple of benches become a meeting place and old pubs. 

The choice of these places has developed through conversations with members of the public that have attended my workshops at Gather café and also street workshops I delivered in July.  Some conversations have been fleeting and others much deeper – yet both describe the local area over time. I am also including my own family memories and working-class history that is linked to the area.   

First workshops on the High Street in Dudley – making things in wire and having conversations.
Janes printed fabric showing old maps of Dudley.  Her stitches highlight the areas she knows. 
Barbara shares childhood photos at Gather café.

The conversations I have had with people attending my photo /textile printing workshops have been very special, with some participants re-visiting places they remember as children to take new photographs as a result of our conversations.  The workshops involved printing participants personal photos onto fabric and using stitch to highlight certain aspects of the image. Some of these memories will appear in the sculptural pieces I will produce.  I have also been exploring local areas that are somewhat disused to try and learn about local folklore and narrative associated with places.  Trips to the Black Country archives has shown that some local places remain nameless – yet are heavily used for leisure activities – so are well loved areas.  Appearing on Black Country radio with local presenters in September to discuss the project, also confirmed that some places are deeply rooted in memory yet have no name. 

Nat chose to embroider photos of fossils from Dudley that can be seen in the Black Country archives and Museum.  “Very Old Memories” she says.
Wendy with her printed fabric showing places she remembers visiting as a child.
Angie and her daughter attend a Gather workshop.  The photo depicts the bouncy castle at Tipton Canal Festival.

I intend to make a series of sculptures that reflect local places to illustrate the shared memories.  I will be printing photographs and illustrations onto metal and using mixed media and found objects from local charity shops to create 3 dimensional works of art.

My Nan and grandad.  Nan was born in a room over a pub in Tipton.
Wasteland at back of Travelodge and Black Country Museum.  It has no name.
Wire Pigeon

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