Reaching Out

A collaborative exhibition asking (and hopefully, offering some answers) to the question: 

What stops us from-Seeing, Feeling, Hearing, Knowing, Reaching Out? 

We describe the exhibition as a shrine. A non-religious shrine to Reaching Out; sharing the creative and social stuff our group have done. During this project, we have revealed our experiences of, and ideas about, what it is to be ignored. And we’ve challenged ourselves to change structures and behaviours which make reaching out seem hard. Celebrating our hopes for a more care-filled, accessible future. Reciting aloud our desire to make things different & better. Driven by our collective ability to elicit, exchange, respond, and support.

Installation 3

“enshrine SAFEDI” brings together North-East communities of disabled people to investigate ways of making art centres, galleries and arts organisations more accessible. We have discussed the barriers we face by creating an “Access Obstacle Course” and have offered solutions to some of these through our “Access Recitations”. The tiny paper sculptures in the window represent “Access Obstacles” (barriers). Like broken equipment (the smashed glasses), distance (the paper boat) and a lack of time (the clock). Inside the shop unit paintings, photographs and texts offer “Access Recitations” (ideas for removing barriers). We hope it will be a useful tool for people who want to think about making art centres, galleries and art organisations more open, welcoming, accessible places for lots of different people. Our focus has been on how creative collaboration can be part of policy change. We want the ideas from this project to been shrined in policy by art venues, making their work more accessible. 

Installation 2

"It’s an important piece. We are very proud to be involved. For me it does speak about exclusion in wider place making too. How less powerful people are can be ignored by those who should know and do better and the systems and collusion that allow this. Folx are often labelled moaners when they voice a valid and informed opinion, instead of being listened too. Such a great way of opening up dialogues."

Allie Walton-Robson, Creative Director, Headway Arts


The work is inspired by, and documents, the art and research project “SAFEDI enSHRINE” and was created through collaboration between: Cath Walsh, Deborah Nash, Kev Howard, Steph Robson, Cathy Garner, Colly Metcalfe, Andy, Nicki, Paula, Sofia Barton, Sarah Li, Lady Kitt and Dan Russell  

Photos: Julian Lister

The wider SAFEDI project

The enSHRINE projectis one of six commissions as part of AHRC funded project SAFEDI (Social Art for Equality Diversity and Inclusion). SAFEDI is an AHRC fellowship led by Manchester Metropolitan University, Social Art Network, & Axis, working with social artists, marginalised communities and policy makers around the UK to rethink what inclusion in the arts means.

Find out more here >

Image descriptions:

Installation which includes creating a partitioned space using 11 meter by 2.75 meter sheets of bright pink and purple, recycled paper and a series of moulded sculptural works including hill-like structures, appearing to drip from the window, or pour out of the walls. Bright pink and purple sheets of scrumpled paper are piled up hight against the window in layers - they look a bit like sedimentary rock formations. They obscure most of the view into the shop unit. Within these large, paper forms are hidden tiny, intricately sculpted, 3D objects. Throughout the installation you can find shapes cut from large sheets of ply wood and painted bright colours, these represent shapes drawn by co-authors as part of visual score making workshops. The exhibition also includes paintings, drawings, text art, sound pieces and video work made by co-authors.