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Ken Wood’s Dramatic Industrial Scenes Arrive at the Portal

Ken Wood’s paintings bring the drama and atmosphere of the Black Country’s industrial past to a brand new exhibition space in the Dudley Canal Trust’s Portal building. 

The exhibition features paintings inspired by local scenes, such as views of canal-side factories and local streets, as well as domestic scenes of traditional Black Country life. Ken’s dramatic and vibrant palette captures the roar of the furnaces which would glow all through the night, and the thick smoggy air. Ken’s works also capture the lives of workers whose incredible efforts made the area so important during the Industrial Revolution. 

"We’re delighted to be able to display Ken’s work in our new temporary exhibition space”, said Holly Wain, Heritage Activities Assistant at Dudley Canal Trust (Trips) Ltd. "His work is so striking and perfectly captures the atmosphere of the Black Country in years gone by”. 

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, and are perfect for a location such as ours. His works have been exhibited widely and even found their way to the USA and New Zealand. 

"I have exhibited my work at several venues throughout the Black Country and beyond”, said artist Ken Wood, "so when I had the opportunity to show some of my paintings at the fabulously impressive building, the Dudley Canal Trust’s Portal, I jumped at the opportunity”.

Major funding partners for the project to create the Portal include the European Regional Development Fund £997,000, Heritage Lottery Fund £989,000, 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 run from 22nd June to 22nd August 2016. All of the original artwork featured in the exhibition will be for sale.

For more information, visit the Trust’s website at or call 0121 557 6265.

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