Each year sharing memories works on five or six different projects in schools, at our base at Hope Bank Works and out and about in the community.
The Well Dressing Project
The well Dressing project was an exploration of the ancient craft of well dressing.
Thanks to National Lottery players, Holmfirth has seen the return to Well Dressing traditions in the town for the first time since 1991. The floral design appeared in the Methodist Church gardens as part of this year’s Holmfirth Arts Festival celebrations June 2019.
Members of Sharing Memories, working with children from Holmfirth Junior, Infant and Nursery School designed a Well Dressing on the Festival theme of landscape. The project was
supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and One Community Foundation.
Well Dressing is an ancient form of decoration, usually placed near natural sources of water. Also known as well flowering, it is a tradition practised in some parts of rural England in which wells, springs and other water sources are decorated with designs created from flower petals. The custom is most closely associated with the Peak District of Derbyshire and Staffordshire.
Sharing Memories Project Manager, Sally Brown, said:
“We’ve been having great fun teaching the school children how to make mini Well Dressings and they are so excited to be part of this project."
“Most of the pupils have never seen anything like this so we hope it will inspire future flower decorations in the town.”
The Sharing Memories Well Dressing was unveiled on Friday 14th June and the children processed down from their school in flower costumes made with the help of The Children’s Art School, and led by fiddle player Eddie Armitage. The unveiling included entertainment by Andy Burton of Satellite Arts and members of Xylosound, a group of adults with learning disabilities.
MAKE YOURSELF AT HOME
A sharing memories project working with adults from Enfield Down and Bridgewood Trust to explore ideas about home through the medium of print.
We worked with people to explore the meaning of 'Home' to each of us, though symbols and images. For example a tea pot or a pair of slippers.We then used these images to create our own printing tools.
STICKLEBACKS AND SWINGBOATS
A celebration of the history of Hope Bank Pleasure Grounds using drama, singing and visual art. We explored the history of Hope Bank Pleasure Grounds near Honley and staged a performance, with the help of Chol Theatre company.
We also worked with songwriter Jenny Goodman and wrote four brand new songs about Hope Bank, in collaboration with an adult choir and children from Honley J&I and Southgate Special School. Members of Sharing Memories and Amazing Acapella created the most incredible painted backdrop for our show which was called Sticklebacks and Swingboats. Over 160 people took part in this project ranging from Clem, aged just seven to Kenneth who is 93, severely visually impaired, hard of hearing and lives alone. Two members of Sharing Memories, Cath and Tommy took part in both the drama and the singing – something they had never done before – they loved it and their daughters were amazed!
SPORTING MEMORIES, SPORTING FUTURES
Our mission was to create a new mural for the front entrance of The Zone, a popular family sports facility in Huddersfield. With the help of ceramicist Zoe Stainton we set to work ...
Working with 35 participants from Lydgate Special School (now Southgate School); the Bridgewood Trust and Enfield Down we created a series of sporting themed figures out of clay tiles. We talked about our favourite sporting activities and came up with ideas for a series of abstract figures which would form our mural. Everyone learned how to roll and cut the clay and create simple patterns decorated with slip.
The groups were so prolific that we ended up with more figures than we needed for our mural - so the extra figures are being installed at each of the participating organisations.
Former England and Huddersfield Giants rugby league player Eorl Crabtree kindly volunteered to unveil the mural in July 2017 which now has pride of place at The Zone.
Our thanks to Creative Minds, Kirklees Council and the One Community Foundation for funding for this ambitious project.
THE GREAT HOLMFIRTH CAKE OFF
Well didn't we do well? Around 200 people attended our Great Holmfirth Cake Off event in Holmfirth Market Hall in June 2017, bringing their favourite recipes to share. August 2017
From cheesecake to chocolate cake, from lemon drizzle to banoffee pie, from flapjack to fruitcake – we showcased the very best in cake making. And with the help of staff and pupils from Holmfirth J&I School we sold cakes, plants and raffle tickets and raised around £460 for both Sharing Memories and the school. The children helped out with the cooking and the decorations for our event - they enjoyed it so much that they are asking whether we can do it all again next year! Watch this space.
Our cake off event was generously funded by Awards for All
THROUGH THE WINDOW
Through the Window was a textile-based project which included participants from Enfield Down (a secure Unit for people with mental health issues), Artists in Mind (an organisation which supports artists recovering from mental health issues) and teenaged pupils from Lydgate Special School in Holmfirth.
The aim was to produce up to 100 individual textile windows which reflected the personal journeys and stories of each participant. We worked initially with art therapist John Holt bringing in objects which were important to us, and using those objects as a starting point for drawings and paintings. This then led on to work on smaller A4 panels or windows and we took our skills into other settings. Each participant has created an individual window which will go on exhibition at the Lawrence Batley Theatre in Huddersfield during January 2015. The exhibition will then transfer to the headquarters of the Clinical Commissioning Group.
This project has been generously funded by Arts Council England, Kirklees Council's Arts in the Neighbourhood Programme, and Creative Minds.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Members of Sharing Memories joined forces with children from Lydgate School for children with complex needs, and a group of adults from Growing Works who are recovering from mental health issues, to learn about healthy eating.
We received funding through Awards for All to provide opportunities for children with special needs to learn all about healthy eating, shopping for food, and preparing simple soup and bread recipes. The project started out on a local allotment where we joined forces with members of Growing Works, who are all adults recovering from mental health issues. We learned to identify common vegetables, created quirky vegetable animals, went shopping in Holmfirth Market and cooked simple soup and bread recipes.
The project culminated in a celebratory meal for 60 friends and families with the children preparing and serving soup and bread, having designed the menus themselves. They had great fun serving everyone and also produced a pack of six colouful recipe cards which were given free to local schools and are available in shops in Holmfirth.
THE ARTS TRAIN
Using the theme of 'journeys' as a starting point, members of Sharing Memories worked alongside five other groups of children and adults to create a collection of work which was exhibited at the North Light Gallery in Armitage Bridge