Exhibition: “Her Voice” 26 Feb-31 March 2019 Free Entry*

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Woman Made – Her Voice

Bailiffgate Museum & Gallery in Alnwick welcomes a new exhibition, Her Voice celebrating the cultural and creative role of women in Northumberland. From 26th February to 31st March Her Voice, part of the Woman Made Project by Dry Water Arts in Amble will fill Bailiffgate with voices, images and untold stories. Woman Made is funded by The National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Woman Made shares the work of Helen Anderson and the Music Travellers – mainly female cultural pioneers who, during World War 2, were tasked with uplifting the spirits of the people via cultural activities. The strategic use of arts in this way was as political as it was cultural enabling women like Helen to have a great deal of autonomy and freedom. Helen Anderson’s brief was simple, ‘do what you like to encourage music among the civilian population … keep a diary and report monthly’.

Frances Anderson, artist and co-founder of Dry Water Arts, said  ‘this project has a particular interest for me as in 1941 my great aunt, Helen Frances Anderson was employed by the Council for the Encouragement of Music and the Arts as a Music Traveller in the North East.  The Music Travellers were mostly women and were involved in spreading art and music to various regions of Britain to raise civilian morale during World War 2.  My aunt retained a deep affection for the North East and she has left some wonderful accounts of touring around the North East in her Austin 10 with, amongst others, Kathleen Ferrier. She was committed to the sharing and enjoying of the arts within the community and understood the importance of bringing people together’.

One of the workshop participants  said ‘I had no idea Kathleen Ferrier had toured around Northumberland or that 500 people attended a concert in Amble…it’s amazing.

 Jane Mann, volunteer at Bailiffgate, said ‘we are excited to be able to stage the first exhibition of Woman Made and celebrate the often hidden work and lives of women in their communities’.

The Woman Made project simultaneously celebrates the work of Helen Anderson and the women of Northumberland by sharing cultural and creative heritage; both established and new traditions that are emerging from the changing demographic of the area.

At a time when much is being made of The Northern Powerhouse it is time to celebrate women and their contribution to heritage both past & present and a time to consider the nature of power in relationship to listening to more diverse voices.

Her Voice Installation captures and shares the particularities of women’s relationship to the music that has accompanied them through their lives,

 

* Exhibition free with payment for museum entry

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