A new exhibition is being installed at Southampton’s Central Library.
The exhibition of artwork and embroidery is from the Arts Council England funded community arts project Mayflower FOLK, Southampton STORIES, which is run by two Hampshire-based writer-artists, Nazneen Ahmed and Susmita Bhattacharya.
Mayflower 400 will focus on three themes to organise commemorations in Southampton in 2020. These are: journeys, festivals of light, and the water. The Mayflower FOLK project has focused on the idea of the “journey” as a way to collect migrant stories, folk stories and responses to the Mayflower story, which has been blended through folk art forms and folk story forms to produce celebrations of the unique connection Southampton has to the Mayflower.
Artwork in the Indian drawing form, Warli, will be presented from a range of schools and community groups in the city, including Women’s Integration Group, Black Heritage Association, Mayflower Young Writers, Banister Primary School and Houndsdown Secondary School.
A new set of embroidery works, The Southampton Gateway Embroideries, will also be shown for the first time as part of the exhibition. Participants embroidered meaningful stories about Southampton on arch shapes taken from Southampton’s medieval walls and buildings.
Speaking about the project, Nazneen and Susmita said “It has been wonderful to collect so many rich and diverse journey stories from the city. True to Southampton’s “Gateway to the World” reputation, we discovered stories that reached far across the globe, as well as local journeys, such as they journey to St Marys Stadium to watch Saints beat Sunderland at home 8-0.”
Part of the Mayflower 400 Anniversary programme in Southampton.