Co-Creating Heritage: Birmingham

A film of Phase 2 by Bryony Stokes

Craftspace in Birmingham is the CARE project community partner.  Craftspace ran this craft project, for people aged 50 and over, celebrating creativity as we age, skills exchange and local heritage. The project was inspired by the collections at Soho House Museum in Handsworth as a starting point to source ideas, and then participants worked together to create crafted artworks. The makers collaborated with the Dublin group and with Makernow in Falmouth.  A professional designer maker, Natalie Cole, facilitated workshops over 7 days from the end of March to the end of May, with a celebration event and mini exhibition at the end.

Deirdre Figueiredo writes some reports for us for this phase of the project:

The Dublin and Birmingham projects have both had their first sessions so we are off the blocks!


DF facilitating the skype exchange through digital projector!

On Friday 28th March we had our first Skype exchange – delighted to say the technology worked! The delight and wonder on the faces of the Birmingham group at doing a live exchange with people hundreds of miles away was was lovely to witness. One man has joined our project in Birmingham because of this opportunity – his mother is Irish and so he was interested in the connection and his own history – he was keen to exchange with people in Ireland and make that connection real again.

Soho House exterior

Soho House interior


Natalie Cole the artist introducing the project around the table and in image presentation

Natalie Cole the artist introducing the project around the table and in image presentation

Members of the group introducing themselves through an object they brought in from home (Alexander shows his Irish badge given to him by his mother – nice that he chose it because of the specificity of this project and its context – exchange with Ireland)

In summary, it was the second session for the Irish group so they were ahead on the making which was much in evidence. The Birmingham group was having its first session and we had just returned from a visit to Soho House Museum. The Irish group did a show and tell of what they were doing and making, they asked us questions too. Our group responded about their visit. The Birmingham group became very interested in the techniques used by the Irish group to stimulate creative collaboration and so they decided they would do the same activity next week. In this way they have responded to a new stimulus (broader than just having the artist in Birmingham) and have co-created the next session.

In both groups, Dublin and Birmingham, people introduced themselves to others by choosing an object and talking about themselves in relation to it.  In Dublin Liz the artist brought in objects for people to choose from, whereas in Birmingham I asked people to bring an object from home and took some random ones in also for people who hadn’t brought anything along.2014-05-07 14.23.52 HDR

Both groups are using a tablecloth (idea gleaned from Skype call with Fiona) as a means of recording first thoughts collectively – this will continue to be added to at end of each session. They may send us their tablecloth and we will send ours so the cloths become a shared document in between Skype exchanges.

Co-creating Heritage – Birmingham   Here’s a slide show covering the process that the Birmingham Carecrafters have been through.  You can follow the process and see some results as well.


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