Saturday, 31 December 2016

2017: happy trails

2016 has been quite a journey. It took us to the Houses of Parliament, the Southbank and the National Gallery of Lithuania. Phil is currently working on our asylum seekers project in Berlin. It's also been a journey to the edge of our comfort zone on a few occasions and to the edge of our abilities. What's put heart into us has been the people we've met and those who have travelled with us. Particularly the participants in our projects with the homeless community, who've been ambassadors for better awareness of homelessness nationally and internationally.

2106 has also seen the continuation of the series of arthur+martha quilts that document the lives and insights of various communities we've worked with, especially the homeless community and older people in rural locations and people with dementia. The Stitching the Wars quilts are the latest addition to this series, telling the story of rural communities in Derbyshire during and between the world wars.

Slowly, slowly, we are constructing a previously unwritten history of Britain, using art and poetry, in collaboration with people who are older or homeless. We are centred in North West England but we exhibit work internationally and nationally to make sure these voices are heard. We challenge audiences by confronting them with the common humanity of people who are excluded. We hope all involved in our projects have the opportunity to grow to change - and to celebrate their lives. This work is now intertwined with our lives too, it's become a treasured part of us. We would like to thank everyone we've met over the last year - and to wish all a very happy and safe 2017.

Flo, at Age UK Bakewell, working on Stitching the Wars.  

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