Made in Oldbury, 2016-17
Website, events, exhibitions, publications
A thousand years ago, Oldbury, Langley and Warley were three ‘vills’, settlements too small to be even mentioned in the Domesday book. The area lies on the South Staffordshire coalfield and the exploitation of these natural resources from the late 18th century brought canals, mines, iron forges and chemical works. The landscape we see about us here today is almost entirely manufactured, shaped by the tools of men and women, once dug into for coal and clay, covered over, layers shaped and reshaped. It was a landscape of pollution and despoil, leaving waste heaps, marl holes, quarries, pits and pollution throughout the area, and a legacy of reclaiming the land throughout the twentieth century to the present.
Treading the path between art and anthropology, through community workshops this project explored, discussed and reworked archive materials, re-presenting and sharing them through a series of performative events and exhibitions. The project designed a bespoke web site exploring the local landmarks and industrial archaeology which shape the culture and identity of a place, and produced a beautiful 104 page publication.
Thanks to the participation of Sandwell Community and History Archive Service, Langley Local History Society, Oldbury Local History Group, Langley Q3 Academy, Langley Library, Oldbury Writing Group, Metsec.
Supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Arts Council England, Oldbury Local Area Budget,
Website and publication launch: November 23rd, 2017 at Sandwell Council Chambers.