Pearls of Wisdom – a community art project

“Trust your instincts. Believe in yourself. Care for those around you.”
Carol Freeman (Mum)

Throughout the summer Turtle Dove Cambridge and Cambridge Art Salon worked on a collaborative project called ‘Pearls of Wisdom’. As part of Romsey Art Festival / Eastside Creates 2015 members of the public were invited to contribute work towards this intergenerational art project. ‘Pearls of Wisdom’ were gathered from the elderly as well as families across East Cambridge and launched as part of the Enchanted Tea Dance held at Ditchburn Place on Saturday 10th October.

Whilst volunteering at the Cavendish Street Party for Romsey Art Festival 2015 we engaged residents with the project. The children were asked to create their pearl and then a member of their family was asked to add their words of wisdom to the artwork. These alongside others created at different events throughout the festival were exhibited together at Ditchburn Place on Mill Road – a sheltered housing scheme for the elderly.

It was fantastic to see the pearls displayed above the dance floor and throughout the venue. The event itself was organised by Turtle Dove Cambridge – an initiative which offers young women, between the ages of 15 and 21, the chance to be involved in planning, marketing and delivering successful events. It provides incredible opportunities for these young women by empowering them with increased confidence, wider skill-sets and job prospects, aspirations and networks within the community.

As well as tea and cake being served and Lindy Hop dancers taking to the floor there were lots of art activities to get involved with on the day. The wonderful Sa’adiah Khan of Sadi_Soul Arts displayed the entries from the ‘Magical Butterfly’ Colour Me In Competition as well as providing large prints of her work for visitors to colour in. Sa’adiah has worked on many community art projects within Cambridge including The Mill Road Mural. She has also just launched her first adult colouring book – Alternative Escapism 1 – an A5 collection of 21 original drawings and ‘digital kaleidoscopes made from drawings’.

There was also the chance to join in a live exhibit by creating more pearls which then were then added to the display on the day. It was great to see children and adults taking to these activities together – a fantastic show of community spirit was experienced on the day and throughout the festival itself.

If you want to find out more about next year’s festival or further information on how to volunteer and support events such as this then check out the Cambridge Art Salon website here for contact details and updates. Are you on Twitter? Make sure you are following: @thetrove_cambs, @CambArtSalon,  @RomseyArtFest, @Sadi_SoulArts and @TDcambridge.

By Stephanie Freeman

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