Back in 10 – Part One

This blog features two posts by two of our Graduate Interns involved with our Back in 10 project. 

Part One: Research + Devising

Hey, I’m Sabrina, the third graduate working with Black Country Touring on this exciting project. From finishing university only a few months ago it’s been great to jump straight into creative work. BCT work in a fun and open environment, they are welcoming to any newcomers on the team and projects they run. Currently we’re working with the Black Country Living Museum, the project, called Back in 10, is based around the shops and stores that are nested within the museum. The spaces here are bursting with information and stories and these will influence the work we create for ‘Back in 10’.

The first two weeks of being an intern at BCT consisted of research and reading of the spaces within the museum and collecting anything special or interesting we could get our hands on! We spent last week talking to visitors and demonstrators at the museum, drawing out any stories or memories they had. For the most part this was a really handy research method and we ended up with recordings and pages of stories. We stumbled across people remembering the same stores being on their street or their first time they rode a motorbike, these doses of information provided great sources and research for the next stage to begin.

The devising process started with meeting the other artists that are working on the project and presenting the work we found. It has been finalised that we will be doing the first of performances at the Trap Shop, a place that only sparks curiosity. Everyone on the team agreed that this is one of the most enticing spaces at the museum, therefore it’s only right we use this first! You might be wondering why we find it so intriguing? Well I can answer that for you now, the biggest spark of inspiration is the enormous engine that chugs and clunks and creates a sound that brings nothing but life to this space. The second thing is the rustic display of stencils that have the most bewildering names of countries punched into them, these plates bring vivid colour against the monochrome walls and dusty floors. For a creative person this brings nothing but wonder about the potential of this space and the atmosphere it provides. As the week has gone on we have noted thoughts and ideas of how a performance could look, where we see ourselves theatrically and what point do we want to make with the story we create?

Below you’ll see a video of the engine doing its thing! This should help provide some imagination to what we’re creating and may be a teaser for what’s to come! This is the beginning and nothing is set in stone yet, ideas will continue to evolve and we will end up with something quite extraordinary. So stay tuned and keep your eyes peeled!

Hi there, my name is Kayleigh Talbot and I am one of Black Country Touring’s student interns for ‘Back in 10’, which I must say I am having a great time working on so far.

I have spent most of the week exploring performance spaces at the Black Country Museum and the endless possibilities they offer in terms of creating performances inspired by the Black Country. In connection with this I have had some delightful and informative discussions with the fantastic demonstraters there which have helped build up a great understanding of the facinating history that the Black Country has to offer. One of my favourite parts of this week has been the pleasant chats with some of the visitors of the museum, some of which, have offered some great personal stories from their childhoods that have inspired us as the week has gone by. Spending the week transported into a different era has brought to light some thoughts in my head regarding memory and what a wonderful thing memories are to us.

To me, memory is not a thing we should take for granted so when someone offers a personal memory I am delighed to listen, nostalgia is such a faboulous thing. Not only can Black Country folk make some smashing orange chips they also know how to tell a cracking story.