Armchair in the "I Belong Here" installation at Polesworth Library.

Warwickshire County Council’s Library Service and the Place Projects and Partnerships team have teamed up to enable a new creative project for Polesworth which will grow from local voices.

The project includes a pop-up art installation at Polesworth Library and will engage local people to be part of the production of a new poem.

The commissioned poem will be written by Emily Hunt, a pupil from Kineton High School, who was recently announced as Warwickshire’s Young Poet Laureate 2022 and who has been spending time in Polesworth meeting local families and getting to know the village. The village has a strong tradition of poetry as illustrated in the Polesworth Poetry Trail, featured in Visit Warwickshire.

Back in the summer of 2022, the design and installation of You Belong Here, by Coventry-based artist Edie Jo Murray, was completed. The structure is located at Abbey Green Park in Polesworth and has attracted plenty of local attention. It is designed to be alien like in its natural surroundings and is intended to offer all users a welcome, whether they wish to use its stage to rest, sing or just be. To complement this outside installation, an extension of the project called I Belong Here has also opened inside Polesworth Library.

I Belong Here is a fun, interactive installation which invites visitors to spend time in a colourful upcycled sitting room setting. In this space, members of the community are invited to share their thoughts on identity and belonging through a series of interactive cue cards, and these thoughts will create a word bank which will inform the shape of the poem that has been commissioned.

On Saturday, 19 November, Polesworth village was alive for Dickens Night, hosted at Polesworth Library and organised by North Warwickshire Borough Council. Members of the I Belong Here team, supported by Ruby Road Productions (the artistic collaboration that designed the Stratford-based project We Shadows), were also present. The team were welcoming local people on their way to see Father Christmas offering conversation, stickers, and handmade paper flowers from their sitting room setting.

Cllr Andy Jenns, Portfolio Holder for Customers and Transformation, said:

“We are delighted to offer the space to bring this creative opportunity to the village and honoured that the first commission for our Young Poet Laureate is so closely linked to users of Polesworth library. Arts and Culture is a great way to encourage people back into our local communities and there is a wealth of engagement and learning opportunities available from our local Libraries and Museums both in person and online.

 

“We have seen this with the Our Spaces programme which has offered so much more than public art installations. Feedback has been that residents have enjoyed reflecting on the uniqueness of the places and their local connections, and this is especially important as we seek to bring people into town centres, stimulate local economies, and create a sense of place and community”.

If you would like to be part of the project, visit Polesworth Library to leave your responses or take part from the comfort of your own sitting room by clicking on this link.

The installation can be seen in Polesworth Library until 1 December 2022 when it makes its way to a local primary school for a focused workshop with KS2 students.

To find out more about Warwickshire Libraries activities, visit www.warwickshire.gov.uk/libraries

Published: 24th November 2022