Blanket

- a participatory art project in collaboration with refugees and asylum seekers.

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The project involved creation of an installation made of foraged rowan berries in collaboration with refugees and asylum seekers.

 

Berries were gathered from Houghall College in Durham which holds the national exemplar collection of Sorbus (rowan) trees. This extensive collection which originated from all over the world mirrored the wide and varied backgrounds of the participants.

 

Arts Council England funded ‘blanket’ participatory art project was arranged in conjunction with the ‘Artists, Farmers and Philosophers’ Conference in The Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle in September 2016.

 

The project brought forth the voices of marginalised minority group around issues explored at the conference such as belonging, un-belonging and the ownership of, and access to, landscape. Seemingly English, definitely mundane, the Rowan berry was revitalized through the project as a dynamic symbol of the natural and unnatural migratory movement of humans and plants alike.

Tooth picks and rowan berries, Blanket – installation, The Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle, 2016. Photo: Arto Polus