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Art project opens the doors to recovery in Wyre

Closed doors have become almost symbolic over the past 18 months and as such it is no surprise to see these everyday items emerge in artistic work across the globe.

In 2020 we Blackpool Social Club shared the work of photographer Zoe Taylor who took coronavirus restrictions as an opportunity to develop her work ‘Doorstep Portraits’ which gave viewers a glimpse of the families living behind closed doors.

Image credit – Zoe Taylor

Other artists, such as Mario Garcia Torres also used doors as inspiration. In his piece ‘It Must Have Been a Tuesday’ 2020 Torres took the sign affixed to his studio door, which read “cerrado temporalmente” (temporarily closed), and photocopied the image every day. Over the course of the establishments closure, which eventually totalled 164 days, the text became abstracted, morphing and shifting into unrecognisable shadows.

Now that we are seeing many doors open once more Wyre Council, Regenda Homes and M&Y Maintenance and Construction have launched a brand new community art project which looks to reflect on the impact of the pandemic and move forward towards a positive future of recovery

‘Doors’ is an arts and health project which quite literally uses old doors to tell tales of Covid and lockdown in the houses they once fronted.

In September 2020, M&Y Maintenance and Construction replaced the front doors of 50 Regenda Homes properties based in Fleetwood. Rather than go to waste, the council is upcycling the doors through a range of workshops, to be displayed in a public exhibition. 

Doors have already been delivered across Fleetwood to organisations including Fleetwood Museum, Fylde Coast YMCA, The Zone Youth Service and Lancashire Fire and Rescue who are working with local people and groups to transform the doors into pieces of art. 

On 29 October, the transformed doors were displayed outside Marine Hall in Fleetwood. Artists involved in the project attended to encourage members of the public to help design further doors.

Now, throughout November there will be a further exhibition as part of the ‘Sanctuary’ arts marquee. This event will take place at Marine Gardens from 10 to 14 November where there will be art exhibitions, showcases and performances providing a chance for local people to reflect on the last eighteen months and look towards the future. 

Councillor Julie Robinson, Wyre Council’s Mental Health Champion comments, “Throughout the pandemic households have spent more time at home behind doors. Shops, businesses and schools closed their doors and we stood at our doorsteps to clap for the NHS. Everyone has been impacted and we have all had our own struggles. Doors is an opportunity to express our most recent history and to highlight the community’s power of coping and survival as we look towards the future with hope.  

“It’s important that we recognise the impact the pandemic has had on mental health and throughout the project we will be working with local agencies who support people with mental health concerns.

“We are pleased to work with Regenda Homes and M&Y Maintenance and Construction on this. We are grateful for the materials they have given us which will allow the local community to come together, be creative and tell their story. The doors may find new homes within business receptions, in schools or in public open space, but the real legacy is one of inspiration. To use the old cliché as one door closes another one opens.”

For more information about the project and how to get involved contact [email protected]

The Sanctuary Exhibition at Marine Hall Fleetwood opens 10th November to find out more about what it has to offer and to book

https://www.wyre.gov.uk/sanctuaryspace

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