Toys for Survival
Mobilising playfulness and pleasure as a radical act within a history of women’s resistance, healing and growth, Toys for Survival started life as a series of six workshops, offered free to survivors. The project has resulted in an exhibition at the Glasgow Women's Library and a publication that brings together theories of Pleasure Activism; activities that engage with playfulness and touch; and creative responses from survivors. The publication will be distributed for free to relevant organisations and you can download your free copy here!
The Toys for Survival workshops were fun and playful. Participants learned about traditional and unconventional sculpture materials and, in doing so, engaged with their sensory selves through exploring tactility. We hope that meeting other survivors, learning new skills, and exhibiting their creative pieces can boost survivors' personal and creative confidence. A support worker from Glasgow East Women's Aid was present throughout.
The workshops culminated in survivor's own tactile sculptures being displayed in an exhibition at the Glasgow Women's Library running from the 13th of February until the 28th of March 2020. This exhibition displays their sculptures together with work by three professional artists - Leah Miller-Biot, Maria De Lima and Joanna Peace - as well as selected material from the Women's Aid Archive. We also ran an archive session for the workshop participants at the Glasgow Women's Library, where they interacted with material from the Women's Aid Archive, learning about ways that women have fought and resisted in Scotland throughout history.
Supporting the Local Community
The Toys for Survival workshops were planned and lead by Leah Miller-Biot. You can see her creative work here.
Toys for Survival aimed to introduce survivors to creative spaces in the Glasgow North East locale. The workshops were held at the Market Gallery, a charitable visual arts organisation that presents a varied programme of contemporary exhibitions, projects and events. The sculptures created in the workshops are displayed in a public exhibition at the Glasgow Women's Library, alongside work by professional artists Leah Miller-Biot, Maria De Lima and Joanna Peace.
Toys for Survival has also resulted in a free publication, increasing the reach of the project to members of the public and survivors who could not attend the workshops. This publication brings together theories of Pleasure Activism; activities that engage with playfulness and touch; and creative responses from survivors. It can be picked up at the exhibition and will be distributed to several relevant women's groups. You can also download your own free copy here.
Thank you to the Glasgow Connected Art Network and to Creative Scotland for funding this project!
Thank you as well to our Toys for Survival partners, Glasgow East Women's Aid, the Glasgow Women's Library and Market Gallery; to the professional artists, Leah Miller-Biot, Maria De Lima and Joanna Peace; and to Glasgow Women's Aid for their advice at the planning stages of this project.
International Women's Day
Collaborating with the Glasgow arts community
Teaching new creative skills
Exhibiting survivors' art
For International Women's Day 2019, The Survivor Arts Community (then called Uncovered Artistry) and the Glasgow School of Art Intersectional Feminist Society hosted a joint workshop and exhibition. In the workshop, survivors and members of the GSA Fem Soc created a beautiful collaborative quilt, learning new embroidery skills and working with recycled fabrics. This quilt was displayed over International Women's Day weekend alongside art by survivors and self-identifying women from the GSA community.
Thank you to everyone who came to the workshop, attended the exhibition and submitted art!