My Creative Life: Talking Heads

2 December 2021 – 6 March 2022

The heads on display are the expression of a creative process facilitated by Janna Edwards and the Dorset Museum. Annette Ratuszniak, the former curator of the Elisabeth Frink estate, introduced participants to Frink’s sculptures to inspire them. Working with clay has enabled the group to express how they have felt and still feel as we continue to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic.

The project is part of a pilot, funded by Dorset Council and Arts Council England, managed by Arts Development Company using the Help and Kindness digital platform to advertise creative activities in the community.

Talking Heads: the project

Talking Heads is an art installation resulting from six workshops at Dorset Museum led by Janna Edwards of 15 Days of Clay. The experience has given the group a sense of ownership and something to be proud of.  It has also brought people back together again many of whom were isolated and very lonely during the lockdown.

The workshops started in March 2020 and were aimed at adults with learning difficulties, young men with mental health issues and older people suffering from isolation, loneliness and living with dementia.  Many of the participants had not worked with clay before. During the workshops they echoed the highly textured surfaces of Frinks sculptures, allowing the material to speak as she did. Each group member followed a set way of making the basic head form, features, and colour finish.

The idea was to replicate the way Frink worked and the bold, powerful presence depicted in her heads. By providing a place of safety and freedom from judgement, this project has encouraged the artists to be open. They can represent their thoughts and emotions through working with clay.

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This project is part of a pilot, funded by Dorset Council and Arts Council England, managed by Arts Development Company using the Help and Kindness digital platform to advertise creative activities in the community.

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The Artists

"It’s like being a child again, playing with clay"
Talking Head_02

“I’ve found the workshops very relaxing, with no pressure, just encouraged to be myself.  Working with clay has been challenging and to begin with I found it a struggle, but the more I’ve attended, the more I think I’ve achieved.”

Working with clay

“I’ve always liked craft work.  It’s a good way to put feelings and memories across.  Some people explode with emotion and some people do it quietly.  This has been a different way of saying what I think.”

Talking Head_01

“Working with clay totally absorbs me and I forget other things.  I’ve enjoyed working with my hands, just playing with the clay.”

Working with clay_002

“Since taking part I’ve met up with other people and have made new friends.  I’ve chosen to put a rainbow in the middle of my sculpture.  My head is gazing up at that rainbow, dreaming.”

 

Elisabeth Frink

Elisabeth Frink (1930-1993) Dame Elisabeth Frink RA, one of the most significant British sculptors of the 20th century, lived in Dorset from 1976 until 1993. She dealt with themes that reflected upon human existence. Drawing and printmaking played an important part in the development of her ideas.

1958

Dog

Elisabeth Frink
Bronze, edition of 4

Artists' Dorset

1987

Self-Portrait

Elisabeth Frink
Bronze, edition of 9

Artists' Dorset

1983

Dorset Martyrs

Elisabeth Frink
Bronze

Artists' Dorset

1958

Dog

Elisabeth Frink

Bronze, edition of 4

Artists' Dorset

c.1935

Thatching at Grove House

Taken by M. H. Ouseley

Picture Library

c.1935

Thatching at Grove House

Taken by M. H. Ouseley

Picture Library

c.1935

Thatching at Grove House

Taken by M. H. Ouseley

Picture Library

c.1935

Thatching a rick a rick at Bredy Farm

Taken by M. H. Ouseley

Picture Library

1956

Milking time at Herrison Dairy

Taken L. Frisby

Picture Library

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We’re Good To Go

 

We have gained the Visit England ‘We’re Good To Go’ kitemark confirming we’re following national COVID 19 guidelines for managing visits to our site.

✔ Face masks must still be worn to keep you, our staff and our volunteers safe unless you are exempt!

✔ You must still check-in via the Track and Trace app.

✔ Sanitisation stations will still be in place and we encourage you to use them.

✔ Social distancing will remain.

✔ Regular cleaning of our interactive exhibits will still take place.

This guidance will stay in place until further notice.

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