Kintsugi Women Exhibition

Kintsugi Women exhibition Worthing Museum

Kintsugi Women Exhibition

Kintsugi: the Japanese art of repairing ceramics and pottery with a special lacquer mixed with gold. This tradition method of fixing broken things is built on the idea of embracing flaws and imperfections. In doing so, you can create something stronger and more beautiful than before. Each break and repair is entirely unique.

Using this as a metaphor for the emotional healing we go through teaches us an important lesson; in the process of repairing things, we create something more beautiful and resilient. Kintsugi treats damage and repair as part of the history of an object, rather than something to hide.

The Kintsugi Women exhibition is the result of a collaboration between local charities and services supporting people experiencing homelessness across West Sussex. Female service users were invited to highlight things they value about themselves, or something difficult they have learned through their experiences.

“People experiencing homelessness are broken in so many ways, nobody chooses to be on the streets, especially women. ‘Kintsugi’ is an ancient Japanese craft of fixing broken pottery with extracts of gold.  It is also known as the art of ‘precious scars’…  What breaks us makes us stronger. This exhibition tells of our precious scars.” Jules, project leader

Their experiences and expressions have been captured in a chosen art form with gold running through their creations to symbolise the philosophy of kintsugi. Much like the physical act of repairing ceramics with gold lacquer to highlight their uniqueness and beauty, these women’s creations have been embellished with gold to symbolise their newfound strength and individuality as a result of their experiences.

Sam Otway from Safe in Sussex, a charity offering support for victims of domestic abuse in the county, said: “The main aim is to try and raise some awareness of the services that both of our respective charities provide: Safe in Sussex as a domestic abuse charity providing refuge and education, and Turning Tides as a homelessness charity. They are very much interlinked as all the clients that come into our refuge are homeless, and many of Turning Tides clients will have experienced or been exposed to domestic abuse at some point in their lives, so we are very much a partnership.

“We also want stakeholders and decision makers to see what some of these women endure, and for visitors to understand the reality of homelessness and domestic abuse in the local area.

“There are so many significant pieces and so many stories but for me the house “From Hell House to Happy Home” really showcases how someone can have a home yet still be homeless.  This was created by an amazing mother and daughter duo who suffered years of the most horrific abuse at the hands of their husband/father in their own ‘home’.  Housing placed them into a B&B where they shared a bed for 3 months after they had bravely escaped.  They then came to us, and we found them a safe place to stay where they had their own bedrooms and were able to begin their journey of trauma recovery.  They have shown amazing courage and strength through fixing themselves back together and discovering themselves and their unique qualities for the first time – truly amazing women!”

Kintsugi Women is on at Worthing Museum and Gallery until Sunday 25th September during Museum opening times. Entrance is free.

Worthing Theatres and Museum is a registered charity, and we are committed to providing you with quality art and culture. For information on how you can support us as your local arts charity, such as donating or buying a membership, please click here.

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