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In 2016, young women from Youth Quake had being working with metal work artist Luke Perry to create sculptures based upon folklore stories and fairy tales that are special to them.
Their research spanned all counties and all cultures drawing upon stories from family and friends and their own research.
Their final choices and favourite stories have been encapsulated in 12 exciting sculptures based upon their research.
The sculptures range from The Bangladesh Rickshaw with wings which is symbolic of the thriving Bangladeshi Culture in Smethwick and it is a specific replica of the ones used in Bangladesh.
The Spider is a sculpture of Anansi, an African folktale character who often takes the shape of a spider and is considered to be the spirit of all knowledge of stories.
As part of the research, Youth Quake visited Mythstories Museum in Wem, Shropshire where Des and Ali provided inspiration with lots of Folklore stories as well as teaching them how different techniques and the use of certain materials and resources can be used to tell their stories.
The group created their own story boxes for the launch featuring their favourite stories.
A visit to Luke’s factory (a working factory based in Cradley Heath) where they fabricated, welded and had a great time learning how to work with metal gave them ideas on how their final sculptures would be made.
Learning about the history of chain making in the Black Country provided a fantastic opportunity for them and they made their own chain link. This was a great way for the group to learn a little about manufacturing and the long and wonderful history that the Black Country has.
The project provided young women with opportunities they would never have had the chance to experience. It is thanks to the funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund for giving them this great learning opportunity.
The project had been supported by Rosie Price; Project Coordinator at NSDT and Karan Channer; Youth Engagement Officer at Creative Academies.
This was a project Youth Quake will remember for a very long time!
Dame Julie Walters pictured with sculpture Luke Perry and the Youth Quake girls as she launches the new show, Flying Tales of Folklore at the Brasshouse Community Centre, Brasshouse Lane, Smethwick. For more information about the sculptures please pop into the Brasshouse and visit the sculptures for yourself.