A series of creative workshops and a community exhibition kindly funded by The National Lottery to celebrate 70 years of Queen Elizabeth’s reign and roots to Commonwealth countries.
We believe in stories worth celebrating.
Celebrating Creative and Cultural Roots in Kirklees displays artwork and writing created during a series of workshops managed and led by CollaborARTi creative practitioners in spring and summer 2023 exploring themes arising from migration to Kirklees from the Commonwealth countries. Participants explored their heritage and identity through block printing, jewellery and macramé necklace making, diamond art, origami, felting and spoken word workshops.
Among the many contributors to the exhibition are a group of Windrush generation elders from Oasis Care Support Services Connect Group. They created a 3d illustration depicting their journey to the UK over a 4-week period working with Oasis Care’s arts and crafts specialist Pearline Reilly.
The community exhibition…
As part of the project cards were sent out to local families from 54 Commonwealth countries inviting them to share creative responses to the project for an “Identity Corner” in the gallery, which displays the many and varied experiences of people arriving in Kirklees from the Commonwealth.
Felt Artist Henry Morris delivered a series of workshops for groups to learn the felting process while producing their own group felt art of ‘Anansi’. Anansi was a very smart but mischievous (troublesome) god who was changed into a spider by his father Nyame for not giving up his mischievous ways. Anansi stories are often funny and teach us lessons about the consequences of making bad choices, and that it’s much better to be smart than to be strong.
Diaspora” is a Greek word meaning “to sow over, or to scatter”. From a tiny seed to sapling, to fully mature trees as in life there is always a continuous cycle of growth. We as individuals never stop growing but constantly absorb new information and knowledge. I enjoyed passing on my knowledge of macrame onto the younger generation inspiring them through a creative art form, which they found successfully engaging, giving them the ability to contribute meaningfully to the final exhibition.” Lorna Hanson, Creative Practitioner, CollaborARTi
Textile and Printmaker Helen delivered some block printing workshops where the group enjoyed producing artwork telling the story of ‘Trouble Made Monkey Eat Pepper’
By Errol from Jamaican Handmade
By Errol from Jamaican Handmade
“This project has been a fantastic collaborative project for all involved. CollaborARTi practitioners have loved managing and delivering this series of workshops and working with all the different groups. This project has increased our members’ self-esteem and confidence in their own abilities. It’s a great example of how funding our grassroots organisation can help build trust and foster understanding between different cultures and enable so much. We are looking forward to working on future themes”.
Co-founder and Chair, CollaborARTi
“It’s been a joy to see so many people engaging enthusiastically with the program. When people feel confident about themselves and their heritage, and can express that through art, drama, music, spoken word, whatever medium, that can contribute hugely to a better sense of wellbeing.”