Director Anand Chhabra after writing a successful proposal on behalf of BCVA , Creative Black Country then commissioned BCVA 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 created a series of portraits of people that speak about the sheer diversity of the Black Country. BCVA’s focus was on ‘The Sportsman’ and the ‘Island Inn’ pubs, both in West Bromwich. All portraits copyright Anand Chhabra and Sarvjit Sra 2016 © for and on behalf of BCVA. This project was exhibited at the Southbank Centre, London in May 2016.
‘It’s an East meets West story, where the classic English pub with its ales, dart, domino's & 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.
Picture inset Landlady Sarbjit at the Island Inn, West Bromwich 2016 © Anand Chhabra