St Helens artist Michelle Wren has been leading a project based in The Citadel Theatre. Here is Michelle’s latest blog:
‘Open The Door’
We have only been a group for seven weeks and what has happened has been remarkable!
We started the project with the idea of making a game about access in St Helens. But to even start with making that game, we had to make the sessions accessible to everyone. We all have different ways of working and we needed to find the best way to work with everyone.
Our sessions over the weeks have become livelier and everyone has their own role within it.
We begin with sitting in a circle while members of the group teach us all Makaton sign language that we are documenting. We then play different games; darts, tin can alley and boules different people are in charge of setting it up and others enjoy knocking it down. We then separate into our art groups. Everyone in the group enjoys music so each week we have a new playlist playing that includes a playlist of peoples favourite songs.
One group paints abstract paintings to this music with new tools we have made to paint with. Beginning with large paintings with brushes on sticks this group have developed their own styles and are now working on smaller watercolour pieces for the final exhibition. This work will also be transformed into hazard tape to be used along side the work the other group are creating.
This group is split in two, half of them have been out and about in town assessing accessibility in St Helens and the other half have been creating artwork to respond to this.
We will be contacting businesses and venues in St Helens over the following week to inform them of our findings and present them with the artwork. This work will be publicly displayed as a hazard sign in contested spaces (that will be taped up in the other groups hazard tape) and as an awarded trophy in accessible places on Monday, May 23rd. Keep a look or ear out and follow it on twitter #YouAreHere
The whole journey will be on display at our exhibition in The Citadel Theatre on from Wednesday, May 25th until September.
Do you have good or bad access? If so you might be hearing from us soon!