My View, Elaine Hirst, Hats off to your artwork

Elaine Hirst  Picture: Andrew Roe
Elaine Hirst Picture: Andrew Roe

I’m taking my hat off to our communities this week as we celebrate creative activities from across the borough.

Almost 50 people from Doncaster borough took part in the fantastic production of Kes, which was a huge hit at Cast earlier this month. Many were people who had not previously had any experience of the arts.

They put themselves forward, gave up their time and helped make the production something Doncaster could be really proud of.

This week will feature the first showing of a community arts project ‘A Field of Poppies’ which involved hundreds of local residents.

In the poppies project, run by the Arts Council-funded Right Up Our Street, 650 people have played a part in creating the arts installation which will be in pride of place in the Balby community for two weeks from today.

One of our arts supporters, Kate Sully, led the project and was thrilled by the way the community came together and created this wonderful piece.

A total of 25 community groups took part in this project as well as individuals, all helping to make poppies out of a variety of materials, colours and styles.

It is a commemorative piece and the culmination of the community working together in a creative and powerful way. ‘A Field of Poppies’ is a poignant reflection on the centenary of World War One as well as more recent conflicts.

Elsewhere in the borough community members have created a huge quilt banner entitled ‘100 Scars for 100 Years’ which is set to be displayed in the town in October.

People from across Rossington worked with artist Katherine Warman to create the huge artwork, which will be exhibited at Doncaster Museum and Art Gallery, to commemorate the centenary of World War One. It will be on display for four weeks from October 29.

The community came up with the idea of creating a huge quilt with people from different groups making their own pieces which have been sewn together to create this wonderful art display.

The idea of ‘100 Scars for 100 Years’ is all about healing and moving forward. Community members have shared images of the scars they have and they form an integral part of the quilt.

People have worked so hard to make this happen and we are all really delighted with the end result.

To coincide with the exhibition at Doncaster Museum and Art Gallery there will be a trail of banners around Rossington for people to follow that show photographed sections of the quilt.

Right Up Our Street is about Doncaster people choosing, making, seeing and sharing cultural projects and these are three great examples of our community taking part in very different art forms.

For further information about this and other Right Up Our Street community-based events, visit Right Up Our Street

* Elaine Hirst, Action Research lead and lead for strand A of Right Up Our Street