Shelanu into the Community continues

New work by local women on show at the REP.

A new exhibition opening on 28th July at the REP Theatre in Birmingham will showcase jewellery made by women from across Birmingham at workshops run by members of Shelanu Women’s Craft Collective who are supported by local arts organisation Craftspace.

Over the past three months members of Shelanu, a collective of migrant and refugee women, have led other women, many of whom are also migrants and refugees, at four centres: Ladywood Children’s Centre, Centre for the Aston Family, Soho Children’s Centre and Lime Tree Children’s Centre. Using polymer clay and learning a variety of techniques, participants each created their own collection of unique and personal jewellery.

As with all of Shelanu’s work, the themes of place, identity and belonging ran throughout the workshops, and elements of these can be seen within the final results. Shown together with contrasting imagery and colours the collections act as a snapshot of the diversity within Birmingham.

The social impact of craft in relation to wellbeing and the bringing together of diverse communities has been the focus underpinning the project. Participants have benefited from the workshop series in terms of confidence and having learned new skills which can be practiced and shared with others. The project has also provided Shelanu members with the opportunity to increase their confidence in facilitating workshops, contributing to both their personal and collective development.