Connecting Threads is a community initiative set up by Manchester September 16th-22nd will see the Connecting Threads exhibition taking place here in Madlab, with special previews on the 14th of September. University School of Arts alumni, Emily Hayes and Becky Waite, which aims to empower members of the homeless community by teaching and developing artistic skills in crafts such as embroidery and mono printing.
This is their first collaborative project and arose out of their shared interest in using creative art as a tool for improving a person’s wellbeing and self-esteem.
Since graduating four years ago, they have worked with a variety of groups including those with learning disabilities and mental health issues. This particular project involved their collaboration with local organisations supporting people affected by homelessness, including The Booth Centre, Life Matters and The Mustard Tree. A series of 12 art workshops were held at the centres, where participants were invited to explore printmaking and embroidery techniques.
In the current economic climate, homelessness is becoming an increasingly visible part of life in our cities. On creating the project, Becky said: “We wanted to build a project that would engage with a group of people who are often unrepresented and disengaged with the arts.” Emily added: “People affected by homelessness often feel marginalised by society and yet have valuable stories to tell about urban life and voices that deserve to be heard.”
An exhibition of the artwork created will be open to the public from 16th September at Manchester Digital Laboratory in the Northern Quarter. Throughout the exhibition, all visitors will have the opportunity to take part in creative drop-in workshops run by the artists and participants of the project.