‘Mordor’ conjures images of a blackened land consumed by industry. This exhibition explores the links between J.R.R. Tolkien’s depictions of this fantasy region and the Black Country of the 1900s, alongside contemporary responses.
‘Mordor’ conjures images of a charred wasteland exploited for its resources. This exhibition explores the links between J.R.R. Tolkien’s depictions of this fantasy region in The Lord of the Rings and the Black Country of the 1900s, which lay a few miles from his childhood home.
Alongside images from Tolkien’s sketchbooks, signed first editions of his novels and iconic illustrations by concept artist Ted Nasmith, The Making of Mordor features works by other 20th century writers and artists who have been influenced by the industrial powerhouse of the West Midlands. Contemporary responses to the post-industrial Black Country will also be on show, including works by Turner Prize nominee Richard Billingham, photographer Brian Griffin and artist Euripides Altintzoglou, along with an indoor forest by internationally-acclaimed installation artist Olafur Eliasson.
A one-day symposium exploring how writers have been inspired by the Black Country landscape is being held at the Art Gallery and Arena Theatre on Thursday 6 November