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Vulnerable women channel experiences into artwork

Artwork created by vulnerable women in Cambridge has been showcased as part of an exhibition at Museum of Cambridge. The exhibition, titled Women, Unity, Strength, featured artwork created by women who are supported by Cambridgeshire women’s organisations.

The project was organised by the women supported by the organisations, including: Corona House, Cambridge Women’s Aid, Cambridge Women’s Resources Centre, Sew Angry and Cambridge Rape Crisis.

The theme of Women, Unity and Strength was chosen by the women, and many of the pieces of artwork have been created to highlight some of the issues that they have faced. One woman has created a sculpture of a Victorian cake, which she calls ‘the cake of safe housing’; another has made a giant ragdoll to spark conversations around female sex workers historically and today; and a third woman, who has been examining period poverty, has recreated the sanitary wear of women before the creation of shop bought disposable sanitary towels.

Caroline Mackechnie-Jarvis, Manager at CHS Group’s Corona House, said:

At Corona House, through the provision of accommodation, specialised support and community workshops, we help women who are homeless, or at risk of homelessness, to get back on track and take control of their lives. Expressing themselves through art, while being part of a community, is an incredibly powerful way for our women to feel a sense of control, and process some of their experiences.

Over the past few months it’s been inspiring to see the women create art by working together and sharing ideas. The project itself was the idea of one of our residents at Corona House – we run weekly art and poetry sessions, and she thought it would be great to ask the Museum if we could exhibit there. We’re so pleased they said yes!

Sarah Dore from the Museum of Cambridge, added:

It’s a pleasure to have been able to support this initiative over the past few months. The ideas and experiences shared through the women’s artwork have been really thought-provoking, and I hope this exhibition will help raise awareness of some of the struggles these women have been through, as well as the important work our women’s services in Cambridge deliver. The exhibition itself is truly inspirational. I hope everyone that has contributed is feeling very rightfully proud.

Image: Artwork created by the women involved in the project

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