Partners: Art Council England, Council for Volutary Organisations, Midland Pub Association.
Desi Pubs is an extraordinary story of migration, survival, love and food. For over thirty years, the Black Country has been quietly incubating a boozy gastro revolution, the ‘Desi pub’. It’s an East meets West story, where the classic English pub with its ales, darts and dominos meets Punjabi food and Bhangra. Asian landlords have been salvaging the struggling pub trade in the area by reinventing failed pubs for new communities and have now redefined pub culture.
I developed this project to highlight this amazing untold story. Landlords Beera, Jinder, Jeet, Dal, Slack and Amrik and Lucky, opened their pub doors to thirteen artists and shared their personal life stories and experiences over a pint.
The artwork created over the two year long residencies is now permanently displayed at the pubs. Regulars helped shape bespoke creations which capture the heart and soul of each pub and their punters. This project formed the feature exhibition of Alchemy Festival 2016 at Southbank, Royal Festival Hall (The worlds biggest South Asian Arts Festival outside India) and received international media attention including BBC Television, BBC World Service, Sky TV, ITV, The Guardian, The Economist and others.
- Stained glass windows depicting the history on the Indian Workers Association
- Beer mats with Sufi Poems
- Traditional hand painted pub signs fusing North Indian Art and Punjabi script
- Mosaics depicting the history of Bhangra dance
- Photography, film and much much more
The Artists Film
Desi Blitz Coverage
Media Trust Film