Huddersfield art collective CollaborARTi and health and wellbeing social enterprise Locorum are marking Black History Month with a new exhibition conceived by mothers, sisters and aunties.

‘Celebrating Creative and Cultural Roots in Kirklees’ is an exhibition and celebration exploring the 70 years of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign and connections to Commonwealth countries.

The exhibition will run in Huddersfield town centre throughout October at CollaborARTi Gallery 2, Huddersfield Piazza (opposite the former library building main steps) Monday to Saturday 11am-3pm.

Celebrating Creative and Cultural Roots in Kirklees displays artwork and writing created during a series of workshops managed and led by CollaborARTi creative practitioners in spring and summer 2023 exploring themes arising from migration to Kirklees from the Commonwealth countries.

Participants explored their heritage and identity through block printing, jewellery and macramé necklace making, diamond art, origami, felting and spoken word workshops.

As part of the project cards were also sent out to local families from 54 Commonwealth countries inviting them to share creative responses to the project for an ‘Identity Corner’ in the gallery, which displays the many and varied experiences of people arriving in Kirklees from the Commonwealth.

Portia Roberts-Popham, chief executive officer at Locorum, said: “During lockdown we held some zoom sessions called Mothers, Sisters and Aunties in which we were looking at ways to maintain connections in those difficult times.

“We recognised it was really important to have conversations between generations and between communities. So many of us recognised the role of our mothers in passing on our heritage. At the same time there was this relationship to England, the ‘Mother Country.’

“There was also a perception that skills in traditional art forms were at risk of being lost.

“Celebrating Creative and Cultural Roots explores some of these themes, working across generations in a wide range of creative cultural activities.”

One of the creative practitioners involved in the project was Lorna Hanson, a jewellery and graphic designer based in Huddersfield.

Lorna’s stunning Tree of Life triptych macramé dreamcatcher (above) is inspired by the theme of the exhibition Cultural Roots in Kirklees.

The Tree of Life piece with its interwoven knots is a celebration of the continuous growth and strength of the diverse diaspora within the Huddersfield community.

Visitors to the exhibition will also be able to view Jamaican artist Errol Beckford’s impressive wood carved sculptures in Gallery Three at CollaborARTi. Errol specialises in abstract/folk-art and carvings from the roots of trees.

CollaborARTi is a dynamic diverse (multi-cultural and cross-generational) group of artists based in Huddersfield town centre. You can find out more about their work on their website or call in at their Huddersfield shop at 14 Victoria Lane, HD1 (near the side entrance to Boots).

Locorum is a social enterprise promoting health and wellbeing across West Yorkshire.