Standing In This Place – Installation at the Museum of Making
FREE - Give What You Think
Locate the mini figures around the galleries and help to give a voice to women of the past and their stories
Standing In This Place is an arts and heritage project co-created by sculptor Rachel Carter in response to the National Lottery Heritage Fund funded project Legacy Makers by Bright Ideas Nottingham. It looks to highlight the contributions and connections between white mill workers and black enslaved women uprooted to the Americas, showing how their stories and histories are connected by cotton, sorrow, strength and resilience.
Working with the black led community group, the Legacy Makers, we are thinking about who is and should be remembered while bringing to attention that less than 5% of statues in the UK portray non-royal women.
More about the project:
During 2020 Bright Ideas Nottingham and the Legacy Makers invited local people to take part in a National Lottery Heritage Fund funded community history project, exploring what life was like for the residents of Darley Abbey and surrounding areas in the nineteenth century, and the village’s links to slavery. Rachel volunteered to help the project research the burial slabs of cotton mill workers found in the church yard of Darley Abbey. Having found her own ancestors working in the Darley Abbey Mill, she wished to gain a greater understanding of her ancestors’ lives, in particular the role of women and girls in the cotton mills.
Gathering the feedback and support of the Legacy Makers, Rachel was successful in securing funding from Arts Council England to deliver Phase One of the project. Taking place during 2022, the project engaged over 200 women in a variety of creative sessions, including; dance, braiding, poetry, podcast and stitching.
Phase Two, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, has helped to deliver the first major project exhibition at the Museum of Making, which sheds light on some of the amazing participatory work behind this co-created arts and heritage project. Further activities include community workshops, a further exhibition with Artcore, Derby, in 2024, and season 2 of the podcast including a young person’s creative writing project.
The final phase due to take place during summer 2024 will see a life-size bronze statue representing a white mill worker/lace maker, and a Black enslaved woman uprooted to the Americas, installed in the heart of the rejuvenated Broadmarsh area in Nottingham City Centre. The sculpture will be complemented with a resource pack to encourage further learning and conversations.
This ambitious project, exhibitions and new sculpture will give representation to the under-represented and give voice and recognition to the contributions of thousands of unnamed women connected through cotton and helps to ‘challenge the 5%’.
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