Art celebrating the community’s volunteers

Volunteering is a key part of community life in the Sid Valley – with all sorts of awards out there celebrating the work of volunteers – from Volunteers Week “recognising the fantastic contribution of East Devon volunteers”, to the Active Devon volunteer awards focussing on “those who volunteer their time to help others get active”.

As Kofi Annan said: “If our hopes of building a better and safer world are to become more than wishful thinking, we will need the engagement of volunteers more than ever.”

And so the latest Sidmouth Wallspace art celebrates the community’s volunteers – with “a colourful image featuring work created by people who volunteer in the Sidmouth community taking up that space as the latest exhibit on Sidmouth Wallspace. 

As reported by Philippa Davies in the latest Herald:

The abstract digital collage by Tara Greifenberg features individual artworks produced during a creative project earlier this year. It explored the diversity of volunteering and how volunteers felt about giving up their time to help others. The piece of art was commissioned by Sid Valley Help and is also supported by the Arts Council England.

Di Fuller, a trustee of Sid Valley Help, said: “We were asked by the town council to think about how we could celebrate those who, in all walks of life, give their time to helping others. We wanted to produce something that would be long-lasting and an evidence of volunteers of Sidmouth.“

The artworks were created in a series of workshops for adults and young people, led by artists Wilfrid Wood (plasticine head sculpture), Natasha Hayball (acrylics on canvas) and Katherine Heueston (charcoal self-portraits). Volunteers who took part in the project had the opportunity to be artists themselves, learning new creative skills, or be an artist’s model.

Local volunteers were also invited to take part in an online survey which asked people what motivates them to volunteer, how volunteering benefits them and how it helps the community.

The words and phrases in the Sidmouth Wallspace image echo what people said about volunteering, both in the survey and during the workshops.

All of the original artworks will be on display at the Old Unitarian Meeting House, Sidmouth, from Saturday, December 9 until Tuesday 12.

Sidmouth School of Art has also produced an A5 postcard of the artwork which is available from its online shop and Sidmouth Tourist Information Centre.

Sidmouth Wallspace art celebrates the community’s volunteers | Sidmouth Herald