A Most Peculiar Place, 2013

Images & text, objects, exhibition, playstation game

“Speculations as to the source of the peculiarities of the Black Country and some observations”

Here exists a place where people can’t agree where it geographically begins or ends, where the boundaries are ill-defined and permeable and apparently moveable. Traditionalists might tell you that the Black Country is the area where the coal seam comes to the surface – so encompassing West Bromwich, Oldbury, Blackheath, Cradley Heath, Old Hill, Bilston, Dudley, Tipton, Wednesfield and parts of Halesowen, Wednesbury and Walsall – but not Wolverhampton, Stourbridge and Smethwick or what used to be known as Warley. Other will heartily disagree.

A site specific installation revealing the things that are odd, curious, unique and particular or just plain peculiar about the Black Country, was shown at The Public, West Bromwich, from February to May. The work looked at local legends, sharing some of the more unusual characteristics and characters of the area – including local hangmen, unique characters, alien encounters, amazing temples, local myths and heroines, peculiar and fascinating stories combined with images and objects to create a psycho-geographic map. Commissioned for the ‘Black Country Legends’ programme, the show was based on personal research and conversations with local interest groups and individuals in libraries and community centres. Working with young apprentices from the Learn Play Foundation, material was reshaped as a playstation game for the exhibition.

Partners: Sandwell Arts Trust, Learn Play Foundation

View pdf: Most-Peculiar-Sample