We are a small group of Central Saint Martins MA Fine Art 2015 Graduates and we are setting up a project at Princess Alice Hospice in Surrey. Our aim is to put together a participatory project with a group of patients, with life-limiting illnesses, along with their family members or close friends. The main intention is to co-produce an artwork with this group.
We have a close connection to Princess Alice Hospice, and also patients who are nearing the ends of their lives, as Sophie’s mum was cared for by the hospice throughout our time on MA Fine Art. She died just a week after our degree show. We have several other friends who have also lost loved ones to terminal illness and we would like to give patients like our loved ones an experience that will make a real difference.
Something we feel most important for this patient group is a continued sense of worth, purpose and identity as well as a regaining of control, at such a difficult stage of life. Our project aims to give back some of these feelings.
As part of our ongoing artistic practices we work with the idea of preserving craft skills that are traditional to women and therefore generally considered ‘craft’ as opposed to fine art, so we will utilise skills such as cross-stitch, sewing, embroidery etc (whatever the patients are able to do depending on what their illness allows) and these skills will be collaborated by us, and the patients, into a work of fine art. Though we mostly use these 'female' skills in our own work we are inviting all patients, and family members, with an interest in craft skills in general to join the project, whether they are male or female. Hopefully this will involve participation from those who access Princess Alice's "Man Shed" and anyone interested in woodwork or framing which we could incorporate into the finished artwork.
There will be an exhibition of the final piece of work at Princess Alice for patients, families and visitors, and potentially elsewhere. As part of the work we will also be using sound and visuals to record the process and conversations that take place and this will be part of the legacy left after the final work of art is complete.
We will need to raise £1200 ourselves to cover the costs of equipment and materials, such as sewing machines and projectors which will be used for this and other similar future projects, and smaller items such as wool, fabric, needles, threads etc. If we manage to reach this target we will also be able to access a grant of £372 which we will use to buy the remaining equipment we need. This amount is from the RC Sheriff Trust in Elmbridge which has been awarded to us specifically for this project. This arts grant is given to projects that aim to make a difference and "increase opportunities for all Elmbridge residents (where Princess Alice Hospice is situated) to take part in or experience high- quality arts activities". However, we will only be able to access this money if we raise the full £1200 first. We will be doing this through this Crowdfunding page and by the auction of artworks that we are also setting up. We would be so grateful if you would consider supporting our project and therefore, making a real difference to people at this difficult time of life.
Any money we raise above this amount will be directly donated to Princess Alice Hospice.