A myriad of creative mastery in the Black Country!

Last year Creative Black Country launched an ingenious campaign called 100 Masters to identify contemporary skilled people from across the Black Country and help inspire future talent. I was delighted to be invited onto the panel reviewing the hundreds of nominations, and was subsequently blown away when I recieved and read through my pack of nominees last week.

I curiously followed weblinks to discover more about the work of an astonishing array of writers, artists, musicians, poets, sculptors, comedians, film makers, storytellers, dancers, illustrators, and more… including an engineer, I was happy to see! Not only are these people amazing, but they are from and many still live in the Black Country — some right on the doorstep of projects I work on with local people. So many connections to be made!

The lovely team at Creative Black Country are finalising the list of 100, and will be publishing it and releasing features on each creative master on a weekly basis, so keep an eye on their website or social media feeds. In the meantime, here’s a flavour of what to expect, from the promotion for the 100 Masters campaign.

Did you know that the Playstation font was designed by twins who studied in Wolverhampton? Or 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 craftsmanship and diligence that the region became renowned as the industrial heartland of the UK, and while we successfully recognise our great industrial heritage, we believe it is time to represent the present-day masters who have been making tremendous strides.