Hyem: Diverse Narratives of Hope, Kindness and Home
Hyem means Home in Geordie!
The COVID19 pandemic adversely impacted our local communities in so many ways. Lockdown and shielding forced people to stay at home or indoors more, we were not able to connect with our friends, family and neighbours as we would like, which led to increased isolation, loneliness and physical and mental health issues. We know this has been a difficult time for so many.
From September 2020 to August 2021 GemArts professional artists worked with diverse communities across Gateshead and Newcastle, offering culturally relevant arts activities, through delivering weekly on-line sessions, and creating bespoke arts packs which were delivered to peoples’ homes.
Hyem has enabled communities, families and young people to come together, take part, share and celebrate their creativity, enabling people to stay connected, feel less isolated and lonely and improve their health and wellbeing.
Participants took part in a variety of workshops such as mono printing, block printing, textiles, creative writing, Mokuhanga (Japanese woodblock), painting, ceramics, book making and more.
‘We planted seeds, watched them grow and shared memories that reached beyond the four walls that surrounded us.’
Participants came together for an exhibition of their artwork at Bensham Grove Community Centre in September 2021. The exhibition captured diverse narratives of what Hyem (Home) meant to people, before and during the pandemic, exploring themes of belonging, community, resilience, kindness and hope for the future.
See here the GemArts Hyem booklet with The Comfrey Project group 1 final artworks made with artist Mani Kambo.
You can get involved too! Take part in the Hyem online workshops:
Make a Pup-Up Book with artist Mani
Find out more about the artists involved in this project below:
Sofia Barton is a multidisciplinary artist from North East England. Her work is a collection of Anglo-Indian fusion, of bright, whimsical design inspired by nature and folklore. The landscape and beauty the North East, is beautifully captured in many of Sofia’s paintings.
Mani Kambo is a Moving Image and Print artist based in Newcastle upon Tyne where she grew up surrounded by Sikh tradition and ritual. Kambo is drawn to everyday rituals and precautionary actions taken from superstitions.
Vision for Hyem: Expanding out of the square homes we live in and the rectangular screens we communicate through. We will explore different creative activities such as block and mono printing, writing exercises and photography inspired by the spaces we inhabit, our surroundings and daily activities. Keeping the mind active and opening up conversations to have a period of time forgetting the strange world outside our front doors.
Emma is a dedicated community arts worker and visual artist. She has a wealth of experience working with people from all walks of life, on a variety of arts projects in collaboration with Community Centres, Health Initiatives, Youth Centres, Schools, Arts organisations and Artists.
She has worked on many projects with GemArts over the last 15 years, engaging and leading groups in creative work, bringing people together to explore issues, gain new skills and access opportunities which may have not been available to them before. In Emma's artist practise she uses a variety of different mediums, including painting, drawing, sculpture and textiles.
Emma believes in equality, access and opportunities for all, with an approach to exploring ideas, and important issues, in an innovative and creative way.
Based in Gateshead, Pui Lee is a British-born Chinese artist and arts educator, working throughout the UK. Trained in a wide range of disciplines, she works using an interdisciplinary approach across both traditional and contemporary 2D and 3D art-forms including: drawing, printmaking, craft, sculpture / installation, parade art and more. Outside of the studio, Pui Lee is also a dedicated martial artist, training in Kung Fu and Taekwon-Do.
Funded by Blue Stone Collaborative, Well Newcastle Gateshead
GemArts is an Arts Award Centre and can support schools in Artsmark.