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Black Country Artist Ken Wood returns for a second exhibition at the Portal

The Dudley Canal and Tunnel Trust is excited to welcome back Black Country artist Ken Wood to the Portal in a brand new exhibition. Over the next two months, visitors will be able to view original artworks by Ken Wood which showcase Black Country industry and waterways, as well as family life hundreds of years ago. The exhibition is free to visit in the temporary exhibition space of the Dudley Canal and Tunnel Trust’s visitor centre, the Portal. All art works will also be for sale.

Ken’s oil paintings bring past industrial landscapes to life. Views in this exhibition include atmospheric scenes of Atherstone locks, the Wordsley Cone, Netherton Branch, as well as scenes of Black Country life such as ‘Gettin Babby Washed’. Ken’s dramatic and vibrant use of oil paints captures skies glowing in pinks and reds from the roar of the furnaces which would be kept going through the night. Ken’s paintings of everyday life focus on the family lives of workers. Paintings such as ‘New Arrival’ and ‘Late for School’ show touching and intimate moments in the life of a family in this area.

We’re so pleased to be welcoming Ken back to the Portal for a new exhibition for 2017”, said Holly Wain, Heritage Activities Assistant at Dudley Canal and Tunnel Trust. “His last exhibition was very successful and visitors loved his atmospheric industrial scenes which are perfect for our location at Dudley Canal Tunnel and Limestone mines”.

Ken was born in Ironbridge and later moved to Dudley. At an early age Ken became very aware of the intense labour carried out by the local people keeping industry alive in the area. Ken’s paintings are testament to this industrial heritage. His works have been exhibited widely and even found their way to the USA and New Zealand.

Major funding partners for the project to create the Portal include the European Regional Development Fund £997,000, Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) £989,200, Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership £755,000 and Biffa Award £500,000. Other charitable donors include The Garfield Weston Foundation, J P Getty Jr Charitable Trust, Headley Trust, The Wolfson Foundation, Dudley Canal Trust, Dudley Canal Trust (Trips), and £30,000 raised by a public appeal.

The exhibition is free to visit and will be running from 16th February to 14th April. All of the original artwork featured in the exhibition will be for sale.

For more information on the exhibition or the Castle Art Group, visit the Trust’s website at or call 0121 557 6265.

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