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, Artist

The group have been working together since April 2018. Some of their work was showcased as part of Create Platform Festival in July and their final exhibition will take place in Ashford between Saturday 24th November and Sunday 2nd December 2018. Details below:


If you would like to find out more about this project please email [email protected]. For information about  exhibition and other related events please sign up to People United’s newsletter here.

This commission is also supported by Arts Council England.


This video features some of the work produced by textile artist Anna Ray as part of the 2018 artist commission ‘Home’.

Film by Anna Ray.

Funded & supported by:

The Artist: Anna Ray

Anna Ray studied BA (Hons) and MFA Tapestry at Edinburgh College of Art and became a Lecturer in the department soon after graduation. She was artist in residence at Winterbourne Botanic Garden, University of Birmingham in 2004 and at Frances Bardsley School, Romford, 2006-2007. In 2015-2016 she was artist in residence for The RHS Chelsea Flower Show. She has been granted major awards for her work and has exhibited internationally over the last twenty years in both applied art and fine art contexts.

Ray has been commissioned to make work for public and private collections: Paintings in Hospitals and Marie Curie Cancer Care. In 2014 the law firm Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co acquired and commissioned a series of works for their new premises in Birmingham. She recently exhibited in the high profile exhibition ‘Entangled: Threads & Making’ curated by Karen Wright at Turner Contemporary in Margate. Her work ‘Margate Knot’ was funded by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.