IWD 2022: Student artwork will be on display in Great Dunmow

Textile artist Ellen Jackson and children from Dunmow St Mary's Primary, Great Dunmow, Essex with their drawings

Textile artist Ellen Jackson and children from Dunmow St Mary's Primary School with drawings and the quilt squares made by community volunteers - Credit: Catherine Mummery

Pupils at Dunmow St Mary’s, Great Dunmow Primary and Helena Romanes secondary school have been creating work which will go on display from Saturday (March 5).

The artworks will be at Great Dunmow Museum and Maltings and Dunmow Library, as part of International Women's Day and Women's History Month.

The activities are part of a programme called What I Learned From My Grandmother, run by arts company High Stile Projects.

At Dunmow St Mary’s Primary School, children in Years 1 – 6 created drawings celebrating the skills they have learnt from their grandmothers and other inspirational older women they know.

Textile artist Ellen Jackson, who is also a Teaching Assistant at the school, has been working with a group of community sewers to turn the children’s drawings into quilt squares.

Textile artist Ellen Jackson and children from Dunmow St Mary's Primary, Great Dunmow, Essex with their drawings

Textile artist Ellen Jackson and children from Dunmow St Mary's Primary School with drawings and the quilt squares made by community volunteers - Credit: Catherine Mummery

These are going to be put together into quilt panels. Visitors to the exhibition can discover more about traditional quilting skills and see the textile artworks being turned into a quilt.

Artists Jane Cook and Irene Jones visited Great Dunmow Primary School. 

Jane introduced the children to stitch meditation and showed them the work she made when she was at primary school. Year 3 students worked with Irene and learned how to paint on silk.

Artist Jane Cook with toys and textiles she made as a child, has been at Great Dunmow Primary School, Essex

Artist Jane Cook, who has been encouraging students at Great Dunmow Primary School, with toys and textiles she made when she was a child - Credit: Catherine Mummery

Irene Jones at Great Dunmow Primary School, Essex with artwork painted on silk

Irene Jones at Great Dunmow Primary worked with Year 3 students and taught them how to paint on silk. - Credit: Catherine Mummery

The whole school have created portraits of their grandmothers and other female relatives for display in March.

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Textile artist and former Helena Romanes student Heather Tanner returned to her old school to work with the Year 10 GCSE art students.

Textile artist Heather Tanner in a classroom at Helena Romanes Secondary School, Great Dunmow, Essex

Textile artist Heather Tanner has been working with Year 10 GCSE art students at Helena Romanes Secondary School, Great Dunmow - Credit: Catherine Mummery

GCSE Art students from Helena Romanes School, Great Dunmow, Essex with their textile books and sketch books

GCSE Art students from Helena Romanes School, Great Dunmow with their textile books and sketch books - Credit: Helena Romanes School

The students are making textile books on their grandmother or inspirational woman they know.

Project producer Catherine Mummery said: “The support and interest from the schools has been fantastic.

"This project is encouraging so many conversations between different generations and some wonderful artworks have been made."

The exhibition Crafting Conversations opens on March 5 in the Maltings Room, above the Museum, and there are new special displays in the Museum itself. It runs until April 3 during weekends from 11am to 4pm. Admission is free.

In Dunmow Library there will be displays of some of the children's work and newly commissioned pieces by two young artists Della Rayner and Leanne Collins.

Alongside the exhibitions there are also a number of free workshops for families.

What I Learnt From My Grandmother has been supported by National Lottery Funds via Arts Council England.


IWD 2022

The Dunmow activities are linked to International Women's Day 2022 on Tuesday, March 8.

This year's campaign theme is #breakthebias and supporters are being asked to cross their arms to show solidarity, making an X shape in front of their bodies.

The campaign asks everyone to get involved by celebrating women's achievements, raising awareness against bias and taking action for equality.

Events for IWD 2022

There are a number of events taking place for IWD 2022.

These include:

  1. A panel of IT leaders discussing how to break workplace bias and encourage more women into leadership positions. This session takes place online on March 8 at 11.30am
  2. A session called BreakTheBias: Woman In Stem on March 9 at 12noon. This takes place online.
  3. A ticketed event in Cambridge on March 10 at 6pm at Waterstone's with the author Annie Garthwaite in conversation with Anglia Ruskin University lecturer Dr Tory Young about women in history.