Another great seasonal market was had at The Cornerstone yesterday - we are coming round to the festive season. Lots of purposeful crafting and most of all excellent conversation. Our handmade goods are being very well received and more and more folk have already heard of The Exchange and the good things happening in morecambe! Way to go everyone. In Rosie's words.....We're better together!! And on that note big congrats to Rosemary Tacon Glass on the unveiling of her wonderful tables alongside the relaunch of The Free Food Initiative at The Apothecary in Lancaster also happening yesterday and the very relevant 'essay' - 'community' is not a dirty word. Said writing by Rosie follows.
Saturday saw the launch of a living exhibition and a new food project.
Wanting or needing support from our community doesn’t signal that we are disadvantaged or are weak somehow, it means we are open to future possibilities. So much can be achieved collectively and I believe that we have a responsibility towards contributing local projects that support these ideals. In an increasingly insular society the celebration of community projects helps to buoy us all up, in body and mind, adding new dimensions to future potential. It evidences the reality that we are better together, enriching lives rather than segregating them.
Despite the media attention towards the homeless specifically at this time of year, and the shelter that is locally available, the number of people huddled in doorways is still increasing, as is the regular use of foodbanks for those struggling to pay bills. The responsibility lies in the hands of projects able to provide opportunities to counteract it.
The Free Food Initiative that used to run from The Robert Gillow Pub by Anthony Mark Cutter is due to be re launched imminently from his new venue, The Apothecary. This will be literally a lifeline to those who are struggling over the winter months. A suspended non alcoholic beverage system will furthermore provide a hot/cold drink to those who cannot afford to buy one.
I’m a community artist. I currently work/volunteer for Creative Support, The Exchange Creative Community and More Music In Morecambe running therapeutic art workshops. I work alongside other tutors, professionals and other people who devote their time to inspirational projects, like The Exchange. The ethos behind the Exchange is to facilitate free accessible creative opportunities to all, by connecting the community via a inspiring cooperative group moulding. I am particularly inspired by this flexible way of collective thinking, which is fully inclusive and where everyone’s ideas matter and are celebrated.
I also work within third sector mental health services, enabling individuals to develop sustainable yet flexible coping mechanisms on a day to day basis. I use a creative approach which is based on working towards short term achievable aims. The emphasis is always centred on avoiding isolation through integration, where possible in local community.
The natural propensity to self isolate is within us all. Largely we understand ourselves to be a society that doesn’t ask of each other, that if we are managing we are functional members. So much stigma is still obvious all around us towards those struggling with poverty, homelessness and disability. We shouldn’t discriminate. Money isn’t the be and end all. It is our responsibility as decent human beings to empower, protect and care for all, with unconditional positive regard, those who very easily, may one day end up being ourselves.
My living exhibition is centred on these ideals. I wanted to display my artwork in a format that wasn’t precious although long lasting. Creativity for me transcends all barriers and is a medium everyone can understand. Where better to have a permanent exhibition than a vibrant musical venue where they can be seen, enjoyed and contribute to the diversity and inclusion of this wonderful place. Thank you to Mr Anthony Mark Cutterand Apothecary Bar & Lounge for this fantastic opportunity.
Apothecary Bar and Lounge, Penny Street, LA11 Lancaster, Lancashire