The Blast Creative Network (BCN) offers local artists a free, annual programme of talks, workshops, reading groups, discussions and social events and is a space for mutual support, learning and knowledge sharing.
It’s a friendly place to meet other local artists and creatives based in Sandwell and the Black Country, and provides a space for critical engagement with questions pertinent to contemporary arts practice, as well as local and global challenges.
If you’re an artist based locally, get in touch! Join the BCN mailing list to hear about events and opportunities directly and find out more about the programme.
Email email@example.com to join.
We offer five £500 bursaries to local artists per year to create a small piece of work, to develop an existing project, or to undertake a period of research / experimentation, with the opportunity to share the work through a public talk and on our website. Selected recipients receive mentoring from Multistory, and are invited to share completed work/research on Multistory’s website. The bursary also includes a weeklong residency at the Wolverhampton School of Art, and artists give a talk to students upon the completion of their residency.
Artists selected for the 2021 bursary programme were: Perm Bhachu, Laura Chen, Atlanta Ellis, Scarlett Ford + Vijay Pall.
The open call for applications to the 2022 bursary programme are currently open. Deadline for applications is 13 May, 2022.
Find out how to apply here.
Artist Talk: Jaskirt Boora
23 June, 6-8pm / Moseley Road Baths Gala Pool
An in-conversation and Q&A session with artist Jaskirt Boora that explores issues of representation, with a particular focus on ethnicity and gender within sports and the photography landscape, as well as her socially engaged arts practice more widely. This event will draw on Jaskirt’s current exhibition People, Place and Sport, a series of photographic portraits and recorded conversations that celebrates grassroots sport in the West Midlands. Touching on community sport’s relationship to social justice, the talk will explore the empowering role that open-access parks & outdoor pools and self-organised sporting hubs play for local communities, as collectively owned sites for self-expression and gathering.
Reading Group: Braiding Sweetgrass
16 March, 6-7.30pm / Online
An interdisciplinary reading group for people interested in exploring creative approaches to tackling climate change. Join us in reading from and discussing Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge & the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer. In this session we’ll explore the possibilities for forming multispecies communities, and how gift-economy and the language of animacy are key to building empathetic relations with the more-than-human.
Artist Talk: Multispecies Placemaking + Socially Engaged Art
3 March, 6-7.30pm / Online
In this talk, artists Jessica El Mal and Zsofia Szonja Illes will present from their practice and discuss the connection between community-engaged art, ecology, and the forming of more-than-human (nature, animals) communities. We are in a climate crisis, and it is now more urgent than ever that we work together to imagine and put into place alternative futures, where all beings can thrive and co-exist. What would a city that considers its non-human inhabitants as part of the community look like? How can we move forward from a place of love and care, for each other, for the environment?