Shona and I are running a series of workshops with a group of women in Glasgow, in conjunction with the Village Story Telling Centre and Clydebank Womens Aid funded by Women’s Fund for Scotland. The workshop series explores Stories of Shelter and in the last two weeks of workshops we made our final models:

‘The final two sessions focused on participants using all they have learned in the previous sessions to build their final models. As we worked we talked about the traditional story Rapunzel and together we told the versions we knew and discussed the themes in it, particularly, how imprisonment can sometimes be mistaken as shelter, or shelter can be corrupted and manipulated into something else.’

Huge thank you to Iona, who stepped in on the penultimate week when I was out of the country. They spent the first half of the session finishing designs and even creating some quick new ones. And spent the second have admiring the work they had made and discussing the future.

Final session, we created a celebratory atmosphere with party food, music and  good vibes. In an exhibition format, we laid out our visual plans and all of the work we had moved through from the first session. It was an impressive collaborative body of work. Great session, very moving and a huge highlight of the whole project came when one lady, who had been unable to contribute to the making in the penultimate week due to arthritis in her hands, came with a highly detailed shelter, evoking a woodland tower. 

Participants children came to see the work we had made, it was very sweet and they were extremely complimentary. We sent the children off with packs of materials to make their own models which they accepted enthusiastically.

This has been a really successful series of workshops. We explored Shelter and the different meanings and connotations it can have to each individual, and the importance of Shelter, particularly for women. We hope to be able to continue our work with the Womens Fund for Scotland in realising a build structure that allows us to teach women basic constructions skills and collaborate design.

For more information on the work that the Women’s Refuge do, please visit their website.