Wht it means to live and work in south Lincolnshire

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The communities of south Lincolnshire are made of people of all life stages.

They have more opportunities than ever before to be connected, thanks to new technology.

Artists Ernie Butler and Carol Parker with some of the leaves that will be used in the art installation. Photo: SG210115-112TW

Artists Ernie Butler and Carol Parker with some of the leaves that will be used in the art installation. Photo: SG210115-112TW

The reality, however, is that there are an awful lot of people who feel disengaged from the towns and villages where they live.

This might be because of the isolation often experienced by the elderly or by those suffering ill health, or it might be because of unemployment, language or geographical barriers.

Two community artists are embarking on a project to ensure those “hidden stories” are told, both in visual art as well as in the words of the people involved.

Mixed media artist Carol Parker and Ernie Butler, whose studio where he sketches and paints is at Unique Cottage Studios on the outskirts of Spalding, are working collaboratively on a community art project called Synergy Lincs.

They have embarked on a series of free sessions during which people will create art that reflects the theme of the project, Living and working in a rural environment.

Carol says no great degree of experience or even skill is needed when it comes to making the art.

People will be working with fabric and paper leaves that can be decorated in any way – stitching, stamping, writing and there will be leaves to press.

Once people are happily involved in that process the two artists will gently encourage them to talk about what it means to them to be living and working in south Lincolnshire.

The art that is made will go on show at an exhibition at Ayscoughfee Hall Museum in Spalding, together with pieces produced by the two artists. Words and voices recorded during the art sessions will be played during the exhibition, due to take place from March 14 to April 1.

Ernie said: “The experience is going to be different for everybody and we hope there are going to be surprising things that we learn.

“There are a lot of disengaged people with hidden stories, and that’s what makes up living and working in a rural community.”

The project is supported by public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.