Shelter in the Storm

Ordinary Women Coping in Extraordinary Circumstances

Chris Blanch, Arts Development Officer, St Albans Arts

The inspiration of the project came from a display at the Museum of St Albans showing the lives/role of local women.  In order to highlight the contribution that women have made in the district, the project was devised in collaboration with the Museum Education Officer and St Albans Arts Team. We focussed on those unsung heroines who have just coped or are coping in extraordinary circumstances, targeting two groups of resilient women, to tell their untold stories.  We chose:  

Elderly women and men who were children during the Second World War, from the Sharing Stories Reminiscence Group at St Luke’s Church, St Albans

Women and their families who live at the Women’s Refuges in St Albans and District

Working with Artist, Flea Cooke, the 12 members at St Luke’s produced Victorian ‘pockets’, onto which images, words and memories were embroidered and transferred, as well as containing artefacts.

However, due to the transitory nature of the women in the Refuge, we chose instead to produce ‘protective talisman’ and ‘charms’, made from garden foraging trips.  

A series of 15 postcards, illustrating all the work and words from the two groups were produced to accompany the ‘Shelter in the Storm’ Exhibition, with the logo ‘ordinary women coping in extraordinary circumstances’.  This featured in the Museum of St Albans from August – September 2012, moving to Trestle Arts Base and back to St Luke’s during Residents First Weekend in January 2013, with a complementary ‘Make Do and Mend Workshop’ at the Church. 

For further details contact Chris Blanch, Arts Development Officer on:  chris.blanch@leisureconnection.co.uk

This page was added on 21/03/2014.

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