Elalmadinah… To The City; Liz Hingley

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In 2017 I commissioned photographer and anthropologist Liz Hingley to make new work for exhibition in collaboration with Syrian families.  Through workshops the participants contributed their ideas and stories and Liz explored the city and its collections to create a project that represented how people settled in Coventry and made the city the culturally rich place it is today.

Following a series of collaborative workshops and conversations the new work was a culmination of sculptural works, made by local craftspeople in silver and gold, a display from the historical collections that represented time and ‘keys to the city’ and a series of images in lightboxes.   Exhibited as a contemporary gallery installation in a unique structure in the darkness the work appeared like a place of worship, a space for quiet contemplation.   Representing each of the participants the work reflects on the value and meaning of personal experiences, people’s journeys and arrivals in a new city.

The installation was exhibited at The Herbert Museum & Art Gallery from December 2017 to February 2018.

This project was commissioned by GRAIN Projects and is generously supported by Arts Council England, Rubery Owen Trust, Coventry University and The Herbert Art Gallery.

Settling; Sam Ivin

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It was an enormous pleasure working with Sam Ivin and the Appetite team on ‘Settling’, a new community photography archive in Stoke on Trent.   Sam led workshops with people that have made their home in the city, working with individuals who had moved to Stoke following WW2  and those that were seeking asylum from present day war atrocities.  A diverse range of stories, cultures, memories and visual references were represented.

Following numerous workshops hosted by community groups Sam worked with the team at the Big Feast Festival to curate a small display of people’s photographs.

Photography is part of the people’s  journey; from the places, family and communities they left to their new lives in Stoke-on-Trent.    Sam created an archive of photographs that spoke of arrival, familiar memories and new experiences, bold and brave journeys and extraordinary situations.  The residency took place from June to September 2017 and we are now looking at ways in which we can sustain the activity and develop the archive.