Bill Crooks, an artist and workshop facilitator for The Clewer Initiative and FCEI, comments: “Creating art can help individuals discover feelings that have been lurking in their subconscious and that cannot easily be expressed with words. It can also help relax the body and relieve stress and build confidence and self-esteem. Day after day, as we led the workshops, we witnessed how the process of creating art can bring healing and a sense of solidarity and belonging, particularly when local children worked side by side with refugee children. It was an extremely profound experience and we believe that when people visit the Hear my Voice exhibition they will sense some of this as they engage with the artwork. The collection is both educational and inspiring and is a fresh way to bring the debate around immigration and the integration of refugees into our communities to a new audience.”
Jessica Martin, Canon for Learning and Outreach at Ely Cathedral, explains: “At the Cathedral, we have, for several years, sought to engage with the needs and experiences of those vulnerable to mistreatment and exploitative work practices, particularly refugees and migrants. Our hope for this powerful exhibition is that it will celebrate and show the human dignity of those who have been dispossessed and uprooted– in people’s own words, artwork, and beautifully creative variety. When we see each other as fellow human beings with the same kinds of hopes and dreams as one another, it transforms our common lives together.”
Caroline Virgo, director of The Clewer Initiative, concludes: “It is so important that we give refugees the opportunity to articulate their experience and challenge the many misconceptions around migrant life. We believe the exhibition will make a significant impression on all who see it and hopefully stir many hearts to show greater compassion and understanding towards refugees in their communities and beyond.”
Hear my Voice is on display in Ely Cathedral from Monday 24th October 2022.
After its time in Ely, the exhibition is available to tour the country and be displayed at other cathedrals. To find out more about booking Hear my Voice for your community or cathedral, contact firstname.lastname@example.org