The Living Legends: Hidden Histories exhibition opened on Wednesday 2nd May 2018 and was displayed for a month at the Rooftop Arts Centre in Corby.
Funded by money raised from National Lottery players through the Heritage Lottery Fund and developed in partnership with Corby Visitor Forum (Love Corby), the project was a wonderful celebration of the lives of ten local people, chosen from a public appeal for nominations. The exhibition also reflected the changing population of Corby; a place now characterised by reinvention and renewal.
The project attracted support from local businesses including AES Europe, Quantum Print, Rockingham Forest Best Western Hotel, Rockingham Motor Speedway, S.C. Agency, Spring Property Management and Willow Place, some of whom also put forward staff to become involved in the selection of artists and legends.
The exhibition displayed the stories behind the Living Legends, as documented by writer Becci Sharrock and photographer Laura Dicken. Both artists had worked on similar community projects before and spent time getting to know each person to uncover the unique qualities and experiences that bring their story to life. The stories and poems written about the legends, as well as more photos relating to their lives were exhibited at the exhibition at the Rooftop Arts Centre throughout the month of May 2018. There was also a community exhibition by Corby people who took part in photography workshops to capture their own ‘legend’ and a display of all the people nominated as a legend. The book that accompanied the exhibition is available to purchase for £5 from Corby Library, and is now available as a FREE pdf document here.
Writer Becci Sharrock reflected,
“I heard stories which were funny, sad and even unexpected. Every person has been inspirational in their attitude, approach and determination.” Photographer Laura Dicken observed, “It would be amazing if the Living Legends project inspired more people to become involved in their communities and spark a new generation of living legends.”
Programme Director, Helen Willmott commented,
“Their stories made us smile, laugh, cry and fostered an immense pride in the incredible people of Corby. The selection panel had a difficult time to select ten Legends from all those nominated.”
The project also included a Local History Talk with Historian Peter Hill on 8th May 2018 and a Family Day on Saturday 12th May 2018 where you could discover the science and magic of photography with artists from Corby Community Arts or play with words with poet and storyteller Dave Reeves.