Creative Black Country's commissioned work by six artists at six Black Country pubs opens at the Southbank Alchemy festival 2016. The opening night was a huge success with a coach full of Desi Pub landlords and Artist arriving at the Royal Festival Hall in style! The Alchemy festival showcases the talents of Artists from around the world, celebrating the rich cultural relationship between the Indian subcontinent and the UK. Anand and Sra from BCVA displayed 18 portraits taken at The Island Inn and The Sportsman Club both in West Bromwich.
Cyrus Todiwala was in the Black Country today visiting the 'Desi Pubs' project and meeting some of the artists that are creating new work at the pubs. Anand and Sra talked with Cyrus and Ruchi about their portrait work and the interesting stories behind them. It was great to hear Cyrus's take on the 'Desi Pub' story here in the Black Country.
Over the last few months Anand and Sra have created new portraits at the Island Inn and The Sportsman Club, both in West Bromwich as part of a Creative Black Country commission.
‘It’s an East meets West story, where the classic English pub with its ales, dart, dominos & sports meets Punjabi food and Bhangra music. Asian landlords have been salvaging the struggling pub trade by reinventing failed pubs as independent businesses reaching out to a wide range of customers from the Black Country’s diverse communities. What started as a safe-haven for young Asian pub goes in the 70s has blossomed into a unique Black Country success story.’ – Creative Black Country
We are excited to be working alongside six local artists at eight different Desi Pubs in the Black Country. Working closely with the ‘Pub Family’ made up of landlords, staff and regulars BCVA will create a series of portraits at The Sportsman and The Island Inn, both in West Bromwich. This will culminate in an exhibition and in May.
'Desi pubs' is a fantastic story for the Black Country! Pubs now in the hands of many South Asian landlords represent the changing landscape of the Black Country and yet they serve all sections of their communities. Black Country Visual Arts is very happy to photograph and document the rise of the 'Desi pub'. As a feature project, utilising photographic art that communicates the truth of this story and its history is perfect for the project' - Anand Chhabra - BCVA
You can find out more about the project at www.creativeblackcountry.co.uk