Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Spoons 1: It Started with a Hush

The first group I visited for Creating a Stir was the Norfolk Deaf Association's Hush Club. There were about twenty members present, with a range of hearing impairment levels, of whom sixteen made a spoon doll for our collaborative artwork at Gressenhall Workhouse.

I have worked with this group before, so familiarity made for a relaxed start to the project. I spoke about the redevelopment and chatted about the objects relating them to real stories of people in the workhouse.

I had one object representing each of five areas; education- a slate and pencil, health- the wooden leg, diet- some real gruel, clothing- replica uniform and work, a washing dolly and some carbolic. 

This group were manually dextrous enough for a simple craft activity like spoon dolls, but some of my future groups may be less physically able. I reflected on the session afterwards with the club's group leader on some ways to make the activity accessible at a more basic level. 

The group put together some lovely little characters for our artwork. Buttons proved very popular as decorations - many participants expressed a desire to brighten the uniform colours up for their miniature inmates!

I'll be taking photos of all the dolls in the hands of their creators to use in an additional display alongside Creating a Stir. The need for anonymity is important with potentially vulnerable groups, so all identifying features have been cropped out. Here they are:

16 down, 231 to go. I think the next group will have to be persuaded to make some men!

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