Journeys and Stories Art Project

Elizabeth Fry and Thames Valley Partnership have been working together over a number of years to provide creative activity for residents at the hostel. The artwork currently displayed on the walls is the outcome of a 2-year project, Women at the HeArt,  and has led to funding from Arts Council England to support our current project: Journeys and Stories.  These sessions are led by experienced artists Christine Wilkinson and Carla Conte and are leading up to public exhibitions at Reading Museum and MERL (Museum of English Rural Life).

Journeys and Stories uses the skills of professional visual artists and museum curators to enable female residents and staff at the hostel to tell their stories through creative activity. Sound artist Linda Mason will be recording some of the women’s stories so that we can include the spoken word in the exhibitons, enabling residents’ voices to be truly heard by visitors to the museum.  

Sessions commenced in November 2015 and ran regularly until end of March 2016.  A selection of activites that the women have participated in so far are:  working with wood, printing, painting, collage, book making, using textiles and sewing, painting on acetate and making images of themselves.

They have also visited Reading Museum where they were taken round by curator Brendan Carr to look at the collections. Two further outings to the museum are planned, each led by a different museum curator.

Quotes from participants:

This is therapeutic and has made me calm and relaxed.
This is the only group I enjoy.
That’s what I call satisfaction!!

The Exhibition had its launch on April 5th and was open to the public until July 2016.
We are also pleased to be able to offer staff support: Alison Leverett-Morris is leading 6 Action Learning Set sessions with staff as part of their professional development.  This is a unique approach to staff training and encompasses a creative approach alongside listening skills and supports the role of key workers at the hostel.

Journeys and Stories is funded by Arts Council England and managed by Thames Valley Partnership.

Journeys and Stories Art Project