A new colourful artwork to celebrate the amazing work of volunteers in the community is now showing on Sidmouth Wallspace. The piece, featuring a collection of work created by the community and put together by mixed media artist, Tara Greifenberg, is a vibrant representation of Sidmouth’s volunteers.

Volunteers are the backbone of the community, often unsung people of all ages who make a big difference to the lives of others.  Finding meaning and purpose and a sense of belonging is central to community life and volunteering is a two-way street, giving and receiving simultaneously.  This new artwork is the culmination of a creative portraiture project that sought to understand the diversity of volunteering and what those giving their time felt.  The project was commissioned by Sid Valley Help and is also supported by the Arts Council England.  The colourful, abstract digital collage, by Sidmouth based artist, Tara Greifenberg, brings together individual artworks created by community members, many of whom are volunteers themselves. 

Volunteers had the opportunity to be artists and learn new skills or become the artists’ model, in a series of workshops for adults and young people, led by artists Wilfrid Wood (plasticine head sculpture), Natasha Hayball (acrylics on canvas) and Katherine Heueston (charcoal self-portraits).  The words and phrases echo responses from a survey about volunteering which took place during the workshops.

Di Fuller, Sid Valley Help Trustee commented; “Sid Valley Help was asked by the town council to think about how we could celebrate those, who in all walks of life, give their time to helping others.  We wanted to produce something that would be long lasting and an evidence of volunteers of Sidmouth.“

Sidmouth School of Art have produced an A5 postcard of the artwork available from Sidmouth School of Art’s online shop https://sidmouthart.org/shop and are also available to buy from Sidmouth Tourist Information Centre. All of the original artworks are exhibited at the Old Unitarian Meeting House, Sidmouth, from the 9th to 12th December, 11am to 4pm and it is hoped that the public will support the project by popping in to enjoy the collection of work.

More details about the project can also be found here https://sidmouthart.org/projects/wallspace/celebrating-volunteers

sidmouth volunteers wall space

Image: Sarah Hall