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Unique sensory exhibition to come to Watermans Brentford for one month

The Quilt Tales exhibition will come to Brentford for one month, showcasing sensory work by sight and hearing impaired people

Quilt Tales exhibition to come to Watermans Arts Centre in Brentford

A unique sensory exhibition entitled Quilt Tales will be showcased at Watermans Art Gallery in Brentford for one month only.

From Friday March 18 to Monday April 18, the exhibition will showcase quilts produced by a group of over-55s in Hounslow who suffer from varying degrees of sight and hearing loss.

The Quilt Tales exhibition was designed to break down isolation, help to share stories and help develop new skills in the group, all of which are represented in the multi-sensory quilts on display.

Quilt Tales is the culmination of two 12-week projects by 16 local residents, brought together by National deafblind charity Sense. The projects involved creative sessions based on life histories, memories and stories.

As part of the project, the group visited local cultural attractions, including the Musical Museum in Brentford and Kew Gardens Discovery Tour, where they enjoyed an accessible treetop walk and a visit to the gardens in search of inspiration for the quilt panels.

The exhibition will showcase the two sensory quilts, accompanied by photos, quotes, smells and sounds that were part of the artworks creation. Both three-metre-wide quilts are the result of over 100 hours of story sharing, crafting and sewing between the Hounslow residents and artist Alex McEwan.

Artists making the quilts

Kara Jarrold, head of arts and wellbeing at Sense, said: "We're so delighted to be exhibiting our Quilt Tales at the Watermans Arts Centre.

"This project truly captured the imaginations of the Hounslow residents we worked with and not only helped them to learn new craft skills but also helped locals to make new friends and celebrate their connection to the area they've spent so many years in.

"Having poor eyesight or hearing in older age shouldn't stop someone being creative or engaging in the community and this project is proof that art can be accessible and flexible.

"We really hope people in Hounslow will take a moment to visit the exhibition, enjoy feeling and experiencing the quilts and sharing the history of this fascinating group of local residents."

Alex McEwan, an artist at Quilt Tales, said: "It has been a privilege to witness our Quilt Tales makers re-engage with old crafts and find the confidence to try new techniques each week.

"The quilts don't just represent the makers' life stories but also show the impact being creative can have on a person's confidence, mood and sense of self pride.

"The benefits of creativity activity do not stop in later life or when sensory impairment is experienced and our Sense makers and resulting Quilt Tales are a source of pure inspiration."

The Quilt Tales exhibition is free to enter.

Watermans Arts Centre , 40 High Street, Brentford , TW8 0DS - 020 8232 1019

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