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Dudley Council
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Looking back, moving forward

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An exhibition of stories of the pandemic through photography and quilting is set to tour the borough from next week.

Dudley Council commissioned the project which was delivered through the Queen’s Cross Network, libraries and local community groups and co-ordinated by the Ideas Alliance.

The team worked with clients, staff and members of the photography group from Queen’s Cross Network to put together a personal photographic account of their experiences of the pandemic, captured by photographer Sam Pharoah.

At the same time Dudley residents and groups were also asked to quilt a square depicting their stories of Covid-19, with borough libraries acting as a drop-off and collection point for the squares and also involving their own craft groups in the project. These have now been made into a wall hanging thanks to the support of Gina Tees-Boughton and Lynn Wilding from ‘Crafting for Communities. Images include hearts, stars, rainbows and flowers as well as personal portraits and images of homes and nature scenes reflecting the importance of home, community and the benefits of nature and green spaces.

The ‘Looking back, moving forward’ project was commissioned to ensure that people’s lived experiences of Covid-19 contribute to the borough’s learning from the pandemic and inform the council’s future working practices and priorities. These will be fed into the borough’s new health and wellbeing strategy.

Councillor Ian Bevan, cabinet member for public health and wellbeing said:

We wanted to do something to capture people’s lived experience of the pandemic, both the users of the Queen’s Cross Centre and the wider public.
The photography allowed us to capture a sense of the personal experience of our users, while the squares allowed our residents to take the time to reflect and create something that was induvial to them.
Bringing this all together has not only allowed us to create this beautiful and thought-provoking exhibition, it has also given us the opportunity to learn about how people felt at the height of the pandemic and the support they needed which we will feed into the borough’s new health and wellbeing strategy

The exhibition is free and can be viewed at:
Dudley Library Tuesday 7 June to Wednesday 29 June
Brierley Hill Library Thursday 21 July to Wednesday 10 August
Stourbridge Library Monday 15 August to Friday 2 September
Sedgley Library Wednesday 7 September to Wednesday 28 September


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