Harbour Project teams up with Art on Tour

By Barrie Hudson - 19 July 2021

Arts and Culture

Swindon Museum and Art Gallery has joined forces with the Harbour Project for an online exhibition celebrating diversity.

  • Refugee by Kathleen Williams is among the exhibits

    Refugee by Kathleen Williams is among the exhibits

'The Beauty of Diversity' includes a number of pieces from Swindon’s art collection, selected by members of the Women’s Group of the Harbour Project, which looks after refugees and asylum seekers in the town.

The collaboration is part of the Art on Tour Project, which aims to share more of Swindon’s art collection with more people and places in the town.

Over four sessions, members of the group discovered and explored artworks from Swindon’s collection of modern British art, and in the final session were invited to curate an exhibition of works which resonated with them.

Katie Ackrill, Art on Tour’s Engagement Officer, said: “We’re so excited to have been able to work with the Women’s Group from the Harbour Project. It gave us the opportunity to hear totally different and fresh perspectives on well-loved pieces of art from the Swindon Collection.

“We have been able to bring a new dimension to our online engagement work, and sow the seeds of a fruitful relationship with The Harbour Project.”

Sophie Peart, of The Harbour Project, said: “Our sessions and workshop with Katie have enabled our women’s group to connect to Swindon through artwork. We have been able to see pieces depicting Swindon and also from the town’s artists.

“Using art has been great as it transcends all languages so our women have been able to express their own opinions and engage with the artwork. This project has started a conversation which I hope we can continue.”

The final exhibition reflects the varied perspectives of the participants. There are local artworks showing urban and natural spaces alike, as well as pieces by nationally significant artists Lucian Freud, Desmond Morris and Eileen Cooper.

The exhibition title was selected by a member of the Harbour Project in response to the eclectic cross-section of artworks selected, and the diversity of experiences within the group.

The exhibition is available through Art UK, the online home to the nation’s art collections - https://artuk.org/discover/curations/the-beauty-of-diversity

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