Bristol Based artist Scott Farlow collaborated with local residents and communities of Hengrove to gather stories for the ‘Stories of Making.’
After a challenging covid-enforced hiatus, Scott re-formed links with various local residents, groups and Schools, establishing the Creativity Hub – a place for regular and ongoing enrichment, conviviality and artistic practice. The Hub met regularly, creating strong friendships amidst creative activities. While Scott’s commission has concluded the Hub continues to meet – a powerful legacy of a project that was able sustain and celebrate social connection and creativity in the context of challenging times.
Stories of Making set out to research the creative life of Hengrove by understanding the quiet, everyday and understated making activities – such as painting, knitting, crochet, crafting and baking. In the context of re-emerging after the Covid-19 pandemic, the project aimed to recognise the value of what many people make at home and to celebrate the benefits of these personal, understated, often undervalued endeavours- the beauty in the everyday.
Before the pandemic, the stories activity included regular attendance at Christ Church coffee mornings, group meetings at Whitchurch library and a residency at Bridge Farm Primary School. From October 2021, the creation of the newly established Perry Court Community Hub for regular meetings and creative activity post pandemic soon became the heart of the project. It became a place for enriching and lively creative conversations and activities every Friday. The sessions, facilitated y the participants themselves, were free, and open to all residents offering a warm and lively atmosphere. Participants undertook a range of activities – they told stories, made poetry, baked cakes, learned new skills and shared in collective making.
Farlow also facilitated a number of Friday morning creative sessions with pupils from Perry Court school in which the children were invited to express their thoughts (through conversation, drawing and poetry) on themes such as friendship, compassion, empathy, kindness and journeys.
The Hub became a ‘free-thinking’ space for Hengrove residents. A safe place for friends to meet once a week and to share their everyday stories through creative conversation and conviviality at a time where mental health and wellbeing were of utmost important.
A small publication is being published that celebrates the Stories of Making that have emerged from this collaboration.
“During lockdown, many of us were isolating and had nowhere to go. The gave us a lifeline and a place for enriching conversation and quiet reflection. There are very few places to do this locally and our work together is therefore so vital for the BS14 community.”Hub participant