Workshops at Stoke Mandeville hospital

We organised workshops at Stoke Mandeville hospital where people with experience of spinal injury are considering Maggie Davis’ life through creating artwork.

Credit - Rachel Gadsden

Maggie Davis and her husband Ken were among those spearheading the independent living movement. The home they created at Grove Road, Sutton in Ashfield, in the mid 1970s proved that many disabled people wanted to – and could – live outside institutions.

Patients at the National Spinal Injuries Centre at Stoke Mandeville have been taking part in a series of art classes as a way to reflect on Maggie’s story – and to some extent on their own life experience. The classes were organised by Vivienne, Arts Co-ordinator at the Centre, in partnership with History of Place.

Wendy Smyth adds gold leaf to her artwork.

Award winning artist Rachel Gadsden leads the art side of the workshops while HOP’s Francesca Lashmar has been sharing slides and excerpts from Maggie’s archive as an inspiration.  The archival material often became part of the art.

Eight participants will be continuing to develop work throughout April 2017, fitted around their other appointments at Stoke Mandeville, with extra classes due to popular demand.

History of Place will next be working with students from London Southbank University who will be creating a film (or mixed media asset) using Maggie’s story plus the creative responses as stimulus.


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