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Me, Us, Community - Final Thoughts


Cathie has now completed the delivery section of her residency at Staffordshire University, read her final thoughts here:-

Our final week was dominated by setting up the ‘Me, Us, Community’ exhibition in the university’s Uniqube gallery.  Alongside this, the U.K. Residency Team hosted a study week trip and welcomed visitors from Poland and Spain as well as local artists.  We enjoyed a personalised Soup Kitchen evening hosted by AirSpace Gallery in Hanley and were given the opportunity to present the exhibition and our work from the last eight weeks to fellow artists and academics from The University of Barcelona, University of Warsaw and Staffordshire University.  It’s been a great opportunity to put our project into context alongside the rest of the residencies which will be taking place over the next twelve months as well as meeting like-minded creatives from across Europe.

Our exhibition opening proved to be a great success.  There was a good turnout including four of our St Quentin’s participants.  However, the real success for me was the opportunity that we were given to gather St Quentin’s participants in the residential building to show photographs from the exhibition and play the audio tracks.  This brought home to me again the importance of communication which has proved to be so central to the whole project.  Bringing the nursing and residential staff together was great because it stimulated conversation and residents made some personal connections which they had hitherto been unaware of. 


Me, Us, Community has been a real journey, intense, challenging, exciting and a lot of fun!  The last thing I wanted was to deliver a project where we parachuted in and out leaving no legacy. I truly hope that this has not been the case.  I have been told post project that St Quentin’s Saturday art class has been met with great enthusiasm especially from one resident who had always been a reserved and reluctant participant but was keen to join in with Christmas decoration making, whilst another played the piano.  I’d like to think that some of this could be our influence but perhaps it’s too early to say.  My final thought is that this is just the beginning.  We have learnt so much and it feels like we have raised more questions than we have answered.  I really hope that we can find a way to keep the conversation going. 

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