An exhibition of artwork by participants of New Beginnings, a programme working with families known to children’s services, supporting parents who have experienced episodes of abuse and trauma at some point in their lives to reach their goals and fulfil their potential.
Art sessions are part of the programme, providing an opportunity for participants to explore their feelings, and reactions to those feelings, building strength and resilience, and making the internal, the external. The programme also offer participants the time and space to be with others, support one another, and together make a body of work that reflects the journey they have taken.
The multiple ways in which the sessions were used is reflected in the range of work on show; from small reflective pieces, to powerful statement artworks – all representing the participants’ experiences and their strengths, both as individuals and as a group, in the face of adversity.
The theme of this exhibition is ‘shields’, which was developed early on in the process by the group, as a statement of both protection but also of strength. The group often talked about pain travelling through families; the work represents their strength needed to face painful feelings, whilst equally protecting their children from that pain. The exhibition shows the incredible strength of the participants in facing their feelings head on, and in turn creating something new.
Suitable for all ages
Following an open call for submissions, the 2019 community exhibition programme was selected by a panel of museum staff and members of a cross section of community groups.