Today, Monday 21 December, cultural organisations across the region will showcase a collection of 60 second digital commissions. Marking the Winter Solstice (the shortest day / longest night of the year), It Gets Lighter From Here aims to provide moments of happiness and hope before the days do, quite literally, start to get lighter. To date, the project, the brainchild of The West Midlands Culture Response Unit (WMCRU), has raised £34,050 for commissions, providing vital financial support for the region’s freelancers and community members who have been left unsupported through the pandemic, with a lack of job security and stable, regular income.
The micro commissions will be searchable on social media through the hashtag #ItGetsLighterFromHere. There will also be a ‘thunderclap’ moment at sunset (around 3.55pm) as all commissioning partners and artists will post content simultaneously, marking the darkest moment of 2020.
James Yarker from Stans Cafe said: “The #ItGetsLighterFromHere one-minute rule will prove a great creative challenge for artists young and old. I can’t wait to see all the inventive solutions they come up with. Audiences will find these snack size art works ‘more-ish’. There will be all sorts of flavours and we can enjoy getting a taste of everything, even those art forms we’ve never experienced before or think we don’t like. It will be for trying everything out because ’something else will be along in a minute’ – literally!
There is no ‘official programme’ for #ItGetsLighterFromHere, so no one is saying what you can and can’t watch. Experienced and new artists are all in the mix together. It’s an evening for making new discoveries and because it’s all on social media you can share the things you like with all your family, friends and followers.
On the shortest day of the year #ItGetsLighterFromHere will share the brightest West Midlands artistic talent with the world.”
On Monday 21 December, cultural organisations across the region will showcase a collection of 60 second digital commissions. Marking the Winter Solstice, It Gets Lighter From Here aims to provide moments of happiness and hope before the days do, quite literally, start to get lighter.
Creative Black Country reveals COVID-19 Challenges on Arts
Creative Black Country has been awarded £1,403,154 of National Lottery funding through Arts Council England’s Creative People and Places programme (CPP) to expand its current CPP activity to include Dudley, in partnership with Black Country Living Museum and Dudley Council for Voluntary Service.
Creative Black Country’s 100 Masters – bringing local artists to a global audience
Find out how Creative Black Country used digital content and platforms to bring local artists to a worldwide stage – via The Space.
100 Masters, a landmark campaign from Creative Black Country, the organisation behind the much celebrated Desi Pubs project, is looking to identify and profile the best contemporary craftspeople, makers and thinkers from the Black Country area. Anneka French caught up with Creative Producer, Liam Smyth, to find out more.
Working with public nominations from across the Black Country, the 100 Masters project will culminate in an expo at Starworks in Wolverhampton in November this year. It includes presentations from the individuals selected, as well as the results of a series of artist commissions.
Nominations so far include Sandwell-born artist Gillian Wearing, Walsall’s Paralympic swimming champion Ellie Simmonds OBE, Wolverhampton journalist and author Sathnam Sanghera and David Pearce, the Walsall schoolboy who designed the new £1 coin emblem. The full list of nominations will be reviewed by representatives from the community, with the selected masters revealed in July.
A number of artists have also been commissioned to make work in response to the project’s nominated masters and the context of the project more widely. Artists include photographer Laura Dicken, performer and video artist Amelia Beavis-Harrison, digital hackerspace Urban Hax and Juneau Projects, who bring a wealth of experience working with multi-disciplinary projects to 100 Master. As lead artists, Juneau Projects, will use augmented reality animations to bring the project to life. A special collaboration with the Express and Star newspaper, for example, is providing an interactive platform that will raise the profile of the project, particularly with audiences who are less familiar with creative and visual arts projects.
100 Masters aims to be a celebration of the excellence of creative work already happening within the Black Country and hopes to be a driver for the future development and retention of creative talent.
Liam Smyth, Creative Producer at Creative Black Country, said:
“We are looking to increase aspirations in the local area through 100 Masters. We would like to grow the number of master makers and thinkers within the Black Country. It’s an industrial area of course and there is a lot of attention paid to its design and manufacturing heritage but there is less focus upon current creative practice. We want to acknowledge this and unearth the secrets of creativity and making that are happening today, to show people that the Black Country is an ideal place to live and create amazing work.”
100 Masters, a landmark campaign from Creative Black Country, is looking to profile the best contemporary craftspeople, makers and thinkers from the Black Country. We speak to Creative Producer, Liam Smyth.