Ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.
Maya Angelou, Poet and civil rights activist
Artist Anna Ray will work with recently-arrived Syrian mothers and local mothers who live in Ashford, Kent. Together they will produce an exhibition exploring the idea of ‘home’: what does the word ‘home’ mean to different people; what makes a place a ‘home’, is it important to feel ‘at home’ and how do women feel about and depict the home-making process? This commission aims to bring the women together to explore commonalities and celebrate differences.
Through a process of creative experimentation with diverse materials, techniques and group discussions and with the women working both individually and as a group, the project will engender a social, positive and productive atmosphere. The women will be encouraged to have agency in deciding what they would like to make and how they would like to work.
When I first heard about the work of People United I was moved by their philosophy. The desire to work with others through kindness is a beautiful idea. I was taken by the idea that through artistic engagement with people, with an empathetic and open approach, we can change our society. I recognise that my work has a broad impact on audiences; through each piece I can communicate on an emotional level, or enthral people through a visual experience. The opportunity to welcome Syrian refugees and support new connections for all the mothers involved through an art project has great meaning for me as an artist and as a person. I hope that in the coming months we can make something wonderful, as we begin working together and as we get to know one another. Anna Ray
The group will work together from April 2018 with an exhibition to be held in Ashford in September/October. Some of the work to take place at the Create Platform Festival between 16 and 22 July 2018, working with participants and the general public. More details to follow!
If you would like to find out more or to see if you can get involved please email [email protected]. For information about the exhibition and other related events please sign up to People United’s newsletter here.
This commission is also supported by Arts Council England.