OPENING WEEKEND! We are opening at the Shieldfield Centre on Friday 22 October – come and join us!

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Bethany Stead

As a sculptor and ceramicist, I am fascinated by materials and techniques associated with traditional craft and folk art, such as clay, wood and fabrics. These materials have a long history of being laborious to manipulate, and assigned to humans of a particular class, gender and race. I am deeply intrigued in using these materials to incite conversations about the societal barriers I myself, and others face, due to these classifications. Simultaneously symbolism, semiotics and folklore are themes which thread through my work, alluding to the powers of ancient storytelling and creative writing as a form of therapy.

An integral part of my practice is social engagement and working alongside communities, aiming to tackle social change and create accessible opportunities for everyone. For me, collaborative making is important to maintaining a healthy well-being, especially following the detrimental effects of COVID19. I facilitate various art and craft workshops, each of which are aimed at a diverse range of individuals, past experience includes working with venues and organisations such as The Thought Foundation, AKT Charity, Curious Arts and The Newbridge Project on the social engagement project ‘Socially Awkward’. The most recent workshop facilitated alongside local artist Lady Kitt, ‘Burned Bright’ was a largescale collaborative installation, in which I combined my artistic skills, communication and facilitation to give the participants an engaging and educational experience.