Express & Star

This amazing collection of ceramic flowers has taken a top award

An eye-catching garden of 1,200 handmade ceramic flowers created by people with disabilities from across the Black Country has won a top award.


Creative Arts, which provides day opportunities for people with disabilities, led the project with support from Creative Black Country.

It has now been honoured with a prize in the Royal Horticultural Society's Britain in Bloom Award - in the 'It's Your Neighbourhood' category.

More than 500 people from community and education groups across the Black Country helped to make the magical garden - which is currently on show at The Mailbox in Birmingham.

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 are currently on display at the BBC studios in The Mailbox, Birmingham.

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."

Sandwell Council chief executive Jan Britton presented artists with award certificates on a visit to the studio on Tuesday.

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."

Creative Arts produces a range of unique works all year round.

Its studio at Unit 37 to 39 Cyprus Street, Oldbury is open from 10am to 3pm Monday to Friday.

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