A Sandwell project which created a garden of 1,200 hand-made ceramic flowers has won a top award from the Royal Horticultural Society. Success has come in the Society’s Britain in Bloom Award for the It’s Your Neighbourhood category. The project has achieved a Level 3 award. Council-run Creative Arts, which provides day opportunities for people with disabilities, led the project with support from Creative Black Country.
More than 500 people from a range of community and education groups across the Black Country helped to make the magical garden. The centre’s service users – who have a range of learning and physical disabilities – painted the glazes and put the finishing touches to the flowers ready for public display.
Flowers were unveiled at Tipton Library in July and have since been shown at Sandwell Arts Café, Oak House Museum, Sandwell Arts Festival, RSPB Sandwell Valley, Sandwell College and Bethel Convention Centre. They’re currently on display at BBC studios at The Mailbox.
Creative Arts produces a wide range of beautiful and unique work all year round. Visit the studio at Unit 37 to 39 Cyprus Street, Oldbury, to view, commission and buy work. The studio is open Mondays to Fridays, 10am to 3pm. Craft workshops can be run on request.
Creative Arts project co-ordinator Richard Flatley said: “We are a strong and very positive reflection of the excellence of community arts in Sandwell. The work produced for the Ceramic Garden reflects the wide diversity of people involved the project, from children as young as four to a 92-year-old. It’s great to have their wonderful efforts recognised with this award from the Royal Horticultural Society.”
Councillor Ann Shackleton, Sandwell Council’s cabinet member for social care, said: “I want to congratulate Creative Arts on achieving this award and for the inspiring work they do all year round with people with physical and learning disabilities. The Ceramic Garden project really captured the imagination, involving hundreds of people in the local community and I’m so pleased the Royal Horticultural Society has recognised the talents of our local artists.”