'Who do You think I Am?' was inspired by the YMCA who asked us to devise an arts project that would challenge the many negative stereotypes used by the media, in reporting stories about age. In particular, they hoped that the project would help break down barriers between people of different ages, which are often the cause of fear and anxiety in our society.
Thanks to funding from local Councillors in Bury St Edmund's, we were able to recruit young people from the YMCA to work alongside older people from the town to learn printmaking with us, over a period of eight weeks, at the Apex. Altogether, twenty four people aged from seventeen to seventy created hard hitting work for the 'Who do you think I am?' exhibition which was launched in April 2015 at the Apex Gallery, by his worshipful, The Mayor of Bury St Edmund's, Councillor Robert Everett. Participants were able to keep their work once the exhibition was over.
Who do you think I am?, 2015
We popped up in a lovely, shady spot at the High Lodge activity centre in Thetford Forest, to give young people a chance to learn printmaking, as part of a creative people and places project funded by ADEC in Ely.
Over seventy youngsters and their families had a chance to try mono-printing and lino cutting as part of an 'Arts Market' that was set up in Thetford forest during the 2015 summer holidays. The idea was to give visitors to the High Lodge complex, set in the heart of the forest, an opportunity to try an arts activity, as part of their day out.
High Jinks at High Lodge, 2015
My Place Printmaking
This aimed to bring British and Asian women together, through learning printmaking skills in the conservatory, in Holywells Park in Ipswich. We partnered with DanceEast for this project which culminated with the My Place exhibition being displayed for a month in their wonderful Whistler Gallery. The exhibition examined women's roles in the family and in society and was very well regarded, with over sixty people attending the private viewing at the end of April, hosted by the Mayor of Ipswich. The project was jointly funded by the John Dorkin Charity, The Saint Lawrence Trust, The Friends of Holywells Park and Suffolk County Councillor Paul West, with support from Ipswich Borough Council and DanceEast.
The Transitions Printmaking Programme, 2015
We delivered Transitions Printmaking Programme with European Social Funding in Ipswich in 2015 and taught a group of young people who had never done printmaking before, in the Giles Room at Ipswich Town Hall.
Together they learned how to make work good enough to appear in a professional exhibition
in the County Library in Ipswich, which was opened by the Mayor of Ipswich Borough Council, Councillor Glen Chisholm.
One of our participants has since been given an artists residency with a commercial gallery and is thrilled to be able to to take printmaking even further.
We joined forces with Designermakers@21 in the picturesque town of Diss for this national initiative in October 2015 and popped up in one of their studios, to show people of all ages the art of monoprint.
We were kept very busy despite a rainy day, with over fifty people, mainly families, all keen to join in with the fun of learning to draw and have a go at printmaking, as part of the Art Councils Big Draw event for 2015. The event was free and open to everyone from toddlers to grandparents.
The Big Draw, 2015
In February 2017, we were thrilled to find out that our Eye for Ipswich project, was short-listed for a national Hearts for the Arts Award, in the category for Best Local Authority Arts Project to Encourage Community Cohesion.
Eye for Ipswich aimed to bring together people from thirteen nationalities in the Norwich Road area of Ipswich, by teaching them the common language of printmaking for an exhibition during National Refugee Week. We didn't win but we were up against strong competition and got down to the last four, so it was a great achievement for us and for the Central Area Committee of Ipswich Borough Council, who approached us to design and deliver the project.
Eye for Ipswich, 2016
This is what Deborah Bull, former Royal Ballet Principal Dancer and one of the judges said about the Eye for Ipswich project.
“An imaginative partnership between the Borough Council and a wide range of local partners to address community cohesion issues locally, driving change and delivering positive experiences for the participants.”
The Bigger Picture Project, 2016
This was partly funded by the North West Ipswich Big Local Trust, to bring children, staff, parents and grandparents from Whitton and Whitehouse Community Primary schools in Ipswich together, to learn printmaking and create wall hangings for each school. These were printed on cloth using a two tonne road roller in the playground of Whitehouse school at a community event on 24th March. Altogether 30 people from both schools took part with 20 young people from both schools all gaining Arts Award Discover Level Certificates.