Much of my writing is inspired by real people and events. As a volunteer for a project working with the Victoria and Albert Museum and Black Cultural Archives, I was trained in recording oral histories by The Oral History Society and The British Library Sound Archive. I have worked and volunteered on various oral history projects including the Ex-Warner Estate project, and Make Yourself at Home in Enfield.
Make Yourself at Home
“When I was about six or seven I was was as fat as a matchstick”.
Spinning a Yarn
In 2012 I was engaged as a “storycatcher” and project coordinator for an A1010 commission awarded by Cultural Services, Enfield Council and funded by the Outer London Fund of the GLA. I was commissioned as a writer to collect oral histories, experiences and conversations from residents, local business owners and members of community groups. As part of this commission I coordinated a project with artist Danny Coope to celebrate the business heritage of the street through his “Street of Blue Plaques”.
“Make Yourself at Home” was a collaboration devised and led by Morag McGuire and Laura Kerry of Artillery in partnership with five principle artists: visual artist Danny Coope, writer Penny Rutterford, textile artist Carolyn Abbott, writer and games designer Dave Dow and sculptor Esther Neslen. www.makeyourselfathome.org.uk
The Spinning a Yarn homepage was created to capture some of the conversations, reminiscences and stories of residents, visitors, traders and community groups as they talk about their homes, local life, family traditions and handcrafting.
I worked in partnership with textile artist Carolyn Abbott to facilitate crafting and story sharing workshops with some of the local groups meeting regularly in the area. This included a local self advocacy group for adults with learning disabilities, mother and toddler groups and crafting societies. I also collected reminiscences from local residents and business owners. The conversations, observations, words and stories which were weaved within these groups were shared on a dedicated website throughout the project.