Professor Black

Charlotte

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One of the artists I liked at the Birmingham Art and History Museum is known for his costume creations rather than any painting or sculpture. Olton Brown is from Handsworth but goes by the name of Professor Black. He has been designing costumes for 20 years for the Birmingham Carnival, for over 150 dancers each year. I found an interview with him from 2003, here are some extracts:

How long have you been creating carnival costumes?

“I was the very first costume maker in Birmingham. I would say roughly 19 – 20 years now. We started out with simple designs then every year was a challenge. When you make a good piece one year, you have to come back better next year. We have gone from strength to strength.” 

What are the main materials used in making the costumes?

“Indian material makes up 90% of the costumes because it has…

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