Blast! Creative Network is a group of artists and creatives which evolved out of the Multistory Blast! Festival 2019 and is growing steadily. Taking place once a month, the BCN programme offers talks, workshops, opportunities and social events to bring local emergent artists a year-long programme that provides a space for knowledge sharing and support. We invite art practitioners, curators and community groups to speak about a range of subjects designed to help local emergent artists and creatives to develop their practice.
We also offer members the opportunity to test out new ideas and platform their work through our Online Residency space on our website, as well as on our social media channels. We accept proposals for individual as well as collaborative projects between more than one member of the group.
The programme is open to emergent artists and creatives based in Sandwell and the Black Country, from all practices, backgrounds and ages. Participants from Birmingham may also be considered if they live within one mile of our office in West Bromwich (B70 8DY). Events usually take place at West Bromwich Town Hall but due to current COVID-19 restrictions all future events will take place on Zoom until further notice.
The Blast! Creative Network Programme is open to emergent artists and creatives from all practices, backgrounds and ages and welcomes people of all genders, ethnicities, abilities, ages and sexualities. In order to ensure that sessions are welcoming and supportive for members, we ask all participants to follow the Code of Conduct.
To apply to become a member, or if you are already a member and want to apply for an Online Residency, download and fill out the forms below and return to email@example.com.
Upcoming talks AND workshops:
To attend the programme, please message firstname.lastname@example.org with a few lines about your practice / interests, why you’d like to join the network, and where you are currently based (with your postcode).
20 January, 6-7.30pm
Jagdish Patel will talk about his research-based collaborative art practice with communities in the Midlands, including his work with issues around anti-racism and well-being. Over the past decade, he has been working as a socially engaged visual artist, educator and writer, and he is currently working on a research project examining the inter-relationship between anti-racism, socially engaged art and archives at Coventry University.
The Sustainable Darkroom
10 February, 6-7.30pm
Hannah Fletcher’s work intertwines organic matter such as soils, algae, mushrooms and roots into analogue photographic mediums and surfaces. Simultaneously, exploring environmentally and ecologically-focused issues. Working in an investigative, pseudo scientific and environmentally conscious manner, Hannah combines scientific techniques with photographic processes, creating a dialogue between the poetic and political. Recently, she has initiated and is running The Sustainable Darkroom Project; an artist run research, training and mutual learning programme to equip cultural practitioners with new skills and knowledge to develop a more environmentally friendly analogue photographic practice.
Talk Elizabeth Wewiora
14 March, 6-7.30pm
Across her multiple roles, Elizabeth Wewiora actively seeks out to instigate collaborative projects that support and promote social change and wellbeing. Often her work takes place outside of the gallery, working on residency projects, across health, social housing, justice, learning, heritage and environmental settings. For example she is a long-term artist collaborator with Many Hands Craft Collective (an over60s group based at Victoria Square, Northwards Housing in Ancoats, Manchester). Together they explore arts and craft as an activist tool for the creative agency of older communities. Between 2016-2018 they collaborated with Liz on a Masters by Research project exploring the role of photography as a socially engaged practice.
PAST TALKS & WORKSHOPS
27 October, 6.30-8pm
This talk explores varied approaches to photography and is aimed at creatives based in Sandwell and the Black Country who would like to develop their career in the photographic industry. Artists and photographers Yas Lime, Kate Jackson and Paul Samuel White, will share from their practice, give insight into how they started out in their field of work, and tips for early career photographers.
11 November, 6-7.30pm
In this talk, Danni Ebanks-Ingram will be exploring the creative intersectionalities that run throughout various roles in the workplace: this will include navigating the freelance world and varied arts organisations and how to utilise your creative skills with the ever changing restrictions within this current COVID 19 world. Additionally, Danni will be giving an overview of their career and how they have implemented their creativity within varied spaces.
25 November, 5-7pm
A fundraising workshop led by Producer Jenny Moore, specifically designed to help you with applying to the Arts Council England project grants fund. Jenny will share from her expertise in fundraising for large scale arts programmes as well as for independent projects, walking you through important considerations for when you are developing your idea, all the way through to writing your application.
UK Black Female Photographers Group
9 December, 6-7.30pm
Jemella Binns and Denise Maxwell from the UK Black Female Photographers Group will share from their individual careers and artistic practices and on the importance of building networks of solidarity within an industry that is often exclusionary. They will map out what led them to where they are now as established photographers, including taking a photography degree as well as an untraditional route and changing career paths in your 30s. They’ll also be focusing on tips for overcoming pitfalls, building networks and a client base when establishing a photography career.