A ONE year Arts Council funded community craft project ends next week with a two day display at the Tavistock Guildhall on Wednesday, August 24 and Thursday, August 25.

There will be images on display of eight projects involving local people in learning a craft and re-engaging with their local community as they came out of the pandemic.

Each project had a community outcome including contributing to the Tavistock and Okehampton lantern processions, textile pieces for Tavyside Medical Centre and Tavistock Library, a mosaic for Tavistock Primary School as well as displays of copper art in Tavistock Guildhall and the Museum of Dartmoor Life.

Speaking about the textile hanging for Tavyside Medical Centre, project leader Gill Cairns said: ‘I wanted to run a project where people could work together to produce something for the local community which would lift the spirits and to thank the NHS. I came up with the idea for a textile hanging with the theme of flowers, so it would be bright and colourful.

‘The course has been very successful, the participants have all been so enthusiastic and enjoyed sharing ideas. They have created some beautiful work which has exceeded my expectations. I want to thank everyone that took part for the hours of work they have put in.’

The mosaic at Tavistock Primary School (pictured above) involved Year 5 children making sunflowers, then the adult group worked with artist Andy Cairns on extra sunflowers and the backgrounds. Teacher Ali Bullock said: ‘It has given our outdoor area a much-needed update and we are so grateful for the kind and beautiful donation from Andy and his team.

‘Many of the participants had experienced social isolation due to the pandemic and recorded that the courses had helped them feel part of a community again.’

One participant said: ‘I really enjoyed learning some new techniques for painting and printing on fabric. It was good to have a worthwhile project to participate in and I hope the patients and medics enjoy seeing it.’

Another participant added: ‘It’s very nice to meet and see face to face with people again.’

The project was run by West Devon Art Workshops who are a community art organisation based in Tavistock and aim to make art and craft accessible and affordable for all.