Blog by Helen Willmott, Programme Director at Made With Many
Recently, a new piece of art was unveiled at Wellingborough Library. Created by the Cinnamon Arts Group it celebrates Mike Prescod MBE, the town’s only Black mayor and an influential community activist. The digital print photo-mosaic has been created from images and quotes from the community and is accompanied by an online soundtrack. Together they tell the story of his achievements and wide influence directly from the people who directly knew him and benefitted from his years of service to the local community.
The photo-mosaic will be on display at Wellingborough Library all month, as part of Black History Month, alongside a Windrush quilt made by women from Wellingborough African Caribbean Centre. Both of the artworks celebrate individual’s experiences, but also tell an important shared story about a specific community and generation of people.
It’s made me reflect on the power of art and creativity, in all its forms, to share stories. We see it all the time on TV, in films and books. Through storytelling and performance we get to understand people better, learn about what motivates them, understand their situation and empathise with their feelings. And sometimes this can motivate us to try new things, connect with different people and change our views and opinions.
I often watch programmes based on real life people and think ‘I wish I could meet them’, when I’m actually already meeting them from the comfort of my own sofa. And the artwork on display at the library this month do just that. For those that knew the Mike Prescod it is a poignant reminder of his life, and for the rest of us it’s a chance to learn, reflect and be inspired to make our own change in society.
To find out more about these art works visit our Black Community Forum page at www.madewithmany.org/bcf
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Published 20th October 2022