Blog by Helen Willmott – Programme Director at Made With Many.
One of the perks of our jobs is getting to experience great artistic experiences and the last week has been no different. In The Core at Corby Cube, we visited an exhibition by The Eloquent Fold (artist collaborators Carole Miles and Phiona Richards). Beautifully hung in the stairwell leading to the theatre, Belonging consisted of a number of textile wall hangings and lamp shades that were printed with images and words exploring what belonging means to local people.
And then at Yorkshire Sculpture Park we saw the work of Jason Wilsher-Mills, a disabled artist who uses an iPad to create large-scale sculptures. The Corby Rocker and PIP Princess were created through conversations and workshops with the learning disabled community in Corby and tell of their hopes and dreams.
Both The Eloquent Fold and Jason have part of our Associate Artists, which comes to an end this month after 3 years. We’ve supported four artists, two based in North Northants and two from further afield, to test new ideas for engaging communities in brilliant cultural experiences and to be a core part of our programme. They’ve been mentored by the team and our associates, attended training events and conferences and had time to explore new ways of working.
Liz Clark, an Early Years movement specialist, has delivered workshops and events in both Corby and Wellingborough, using the concept of a ‘play day’ where performance meets playtime for both little children and their families. Whether in a country park, or using everyday objects like sponges and tinfoil, the sessions are always full of delight, laughter and connection.
We’ve worked with writer Ryan Leder to explore ways in which his writing could be informed by the experiences of other people, leading to the creation of You Must Stay at Home. Compiled through a series of phone interviews during the 2020 lockdown, the publication shared the real stories of the homeless community across Wellingborough.
Although the Associate Artists scheme has come to an official end, we’re still working with each of these artists and will continue to do so, alongside our offer of support and guidance to anyone looking to run cultural activities that connect with local people in Corby or Wellingborough.
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Published 23rd September 2022