Women's work showcased at Arts Centre Washington
An art exhibition exploring the impact of covid on women from different communities is on display at Arts Centre Washington.
The Biddick Lane Gallery is showing the Srijoni project, which involves women from diverse communities supporting each other through arts and craft activity. The project was set-up and run by Sangini, a black and minority ethnic led multicultural, women’s organisation based in Sunderland.
Sangini mean’s “friend” in Hindi. Project manager, artist Padma Rao and Durham-based Islamic artist Roohia Syed-Ahmed worked with the women to explore culture, cultural entitlement and identity through Arabic calligraphy, contemporary drawing and writing.
Work from the 20 women who took part in Srijoni, Padma, Roohia and other local BME women artists is now on display in Washington.
The project was funded by Sunderland Culture, Sunderland City Council and The Cultural Spring, an arts organisation working to increase arts participation in Sunderland and South Tyneside.
Women from Wearside and South Tyneside attended online workshops run by Padma and Roohia.
Padma said: “Srijoni means ‘creativity’ in Bangla and the aim of the project was to reduce isolation within BME communities by engaging women with arts and crafts activities.
"Participation in the arts within these communities is very low, but we’ve had terrific feedback from the women we’ve worked with.
“There’s been some great work produced during the project. One woman had studied art up to GCSE but had then dropped it, and her talent has shone through. There’s a sense of pride in their artwork being displayed in a venue as prestigious as Arts Centre Washington.”
Rebecca Ball, creative director at Sunderland Culture, said: “Srijoni has been an important project for us to support and I’m looking forward to seeing the artwork produced.
“Part of our role at Sunderland Culture is to shine a spotlight on art from different cultures – and to encourage and promote artists from different backgrounds. This is exactly what Srijoni has done.
“The project has also introduced women to the well-being benefits of arts activities, and hopefully made them feel more connected to the local community.”
The exhibition can also be seen at www.sunderlandculture.org.uk.