Re-storing refuse to put the re-tale into retail
The RBSA Gallery is working
with Sense on an exciting collaborative project called Making Together. The
project is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts
Council England. One element of the project is called #ReStore. Ha (artists Rob
Hamp and Andrea Hannon) left art bins with Sense charity shops from across the
Midlands to gather donations from the public. All manner of items were donated,
ranging from strips of fabric to broken nutcrackers! The shop teams labelled
each item with notes and stories from the people donating them before Ha
transported the bins to Sense TouchBase Pears. Here, they have been working
with Sense art-maker, Stuart, to help him select and transform the donations
into artworks for display across the shops and at Sense TouchBase Pears.
scenes – personal stories from the shop floor
One aspect of
#ReStore that Ha have found fascinating is the masses of work that goes on
behind the scenes at the Sense charity shops. Therefore, we spoke to Daisy
(Assistant Manager at Sense Worcester) about her involvement in the project…
you enjoy about working in the Sense Worcester shop?
thing I enjoy working in Sense Retail is the variety – every day is different.
You can spend the day with customers and engaging with the community through
fundraising events. Then you can be sorting, researching, and valuing
donations. Next you could be steaming clothing, cleaning, or finding locations
for collection pots. Every day I get to work with a fantastic Manager and team
of volunteers who work incredibly hard and I know their efforts support an
you become interested in art?
connection with art has been there for as long as I can remember. However, when
asked in the first year of my fine art Degree
“What is important to you?” I realised that I was mainly focused on my younger
brother reaching his full potential. My brother had Downs Syndrome, profound
learning difficulties, and complex communication needs. My brother is one of the many reasons the great
work Sense does is so important to me. Because of my brother, my artwork and
interest in art changed. I began to create and curate artwork designed to be
multi-sensory, interactive, and accessible to everyone – including people with
you found the experience of taking part in the #ReStore shop project?
of the #ReStore project has been a privilege. We were lucky
at Worcester to be one of the shops with an art wheelie bin, which we had great
fun decorating. We’ve received some interesting stories and items from our
customers, and it has been fascinating for me to find items that are
incomplete. I’ve already been looking at photographs from the first workshop
between Stuart and Rob trying to spot items that have come from our shop. It’s
great having West Midlands Retail working with Rob and Andrea on the project.
They are passionate
awareness of Sense and all the hard work that goes into the shops. Their online Ha blog also highlights our work and we have been
sharing the articles across our West Midlands Facebook
you think making art for everyone is important?
I feel the
importance is highlighted in the Sense Strategy: “Our vision is a world where
no one, no matter how complex their disabilities, is left out isolated or
unable to fulfil their potential.” Making activities such as the arts more
accessible means everyone can have the opportunity to experience everything
life has to offer.
What are you looking forward to seeing as the
#ReStore project progresses?
I am looking
forward to seeing what Stuart and Rob create next, the way in which they put
objects together, plus finding out all the stories from the public about the
objects they donated. I am excited to work further on gaining more awareness
about #ReStore and Sense. I will also be helping to curate the
exhibition at Sense
TouchBase Pears with
Rob and Andrea, which is another opportunity to bring Sense Retail into the
project and a fantastic opportunity for me too.
Don’t miss the exhibition!
An update about the work being made by Stuart and Ha will be dispatched to Sense charity shops in Kingstanding Worcester, Kidderminster 2, and west Bromwich later this year. There will also be a large-scale installation of the art bins, artworks created, and remaining donated items on display at Sense TouchBase Pears, 27 January – 10 March 2020.
Find out more!
See what Daisy is up to at Sense Worcester by checking their Facebook page here. You can view the full list of Sense charity shops here. Don’t forget to send them your donations next time you have a clear out – they are always in need of good stock.
Learn more about how Sense help and support people living with complex disabilities by visiting their website here.