This project began last REFUGEE WEEK 2016 with Fragments, Objects from distant lands with 18 objects belonging to refugees, asylum seekers and migrants with the aim to share people’s experience of displacement through the precious objects they had brought with them from their countries of origin.

This year’s REFUGEE WEEK the same 18 objects take centre stage. These objects have undergone a journey, from being MUTE AND MOTIONLESS ECHOES OF THE SOCIETY THEY CAME FROM to having a VOICE of their own.

The connection between objects and cultural narratives proves that cultures with no material traces eventually cease to exist. Each object and its history expand with the passing of time and the personal experiences attached to it as it acquires meaning and veneer in its new environment.

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This passing of time is demonstrated in the Tapestry of the prints stitched by a group of volunteers and the interviews carried out amongst them and a small group in Yarl’s Wood Women Detention Centre. Each and everyone of their memories of displacement, PAST or PRESENT, have been slowly woven into the tapestry exhibited at THE HIGGINS MUSEUM in BEDFORD. While stitching, personal memories have been reconstructed and they are now attached to the fabric of the Bedford community.

By working on this tapestry of prints from photographs of these objects in collaboration with everyone who has worked to realise it, we have given ourselves time to expand on each and everyone’s stories behind the objects. They have acquired a veneer which transforms the PERSONAL NARRATIVES from PAST and PRESENT examples of displacement into COLLECTIVE NARRATIVES impossible to ignore.

The VOICES exhibition will take place at the HIGGINS MUSEUM in Bedford in June with the launch on the 17th.

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