... our open access text exhibition about the place we live
LETTERS HOME was our first collaborative text and art open project, the topic being the place we live.
The exhibition ran from Saturday, 3 November – Saturday 15 December 2012 at Rochester library and Saturday, 10 November – Friday, 7 December 2012 at Walderslade Village library. There was a launch event on 10 November at Rochester where we read some of the letters.
The idea for the exhibition grew as sometimes there’s a feeling that people just find themselves here. Kent has always been a place that displaced peoples end up in, and that has often been seen as a negative thing, but this exhibition celebrates Medway’s diverse population – as well as letters from writers who are born and bred in Kent, we have had letters from members of the other communities, who have all made their homes here.
This project invited residents of Medway to write a letter to the place they think of as home, this has resulted in a collection of evocative and emotional writing, forming the basis for the exhibition.
Local photographer Nikki Price's photos of home, and local artist Heather Haythornthwaite’s atmospheric scenes of Rochester streets also featured in the Rochester part of the exhibition.
We didn’t know what to expect when we invited people to write a letter about their home, but the writing we received was overall really positive and we received letters from people who have lived in Kent all their lives as well as people who have moved to Medway from other parts of the UK, and much further afield. (We had letters in Bulgarian, Russian and Gaelic and the exhibition was featured in the Irish Times.)
We also ran a number of creative writing workshops for children and adults at Medway libraries as part of the project.
Letters Home event, photo by Nikki Price Photography, bottom image shows letters from Bulgarian schoolchildren