01 Aug Work in Progress
In 2020 Qube launched a new creative social group for women in Oswestry and North Shropshire thanks to funding support from the Tampon Tax Community Fund, run by The Community Foundation for Staffordshire. The yearlong project called ‘Work in Progress’ offered two free monthly meetups at Qube for women, over the age of 18, who wanted to take some time out, be creative and make new friends, in a safe non-judgmental space for women to get together and be creative.
The sessions were overseen by Gemma Manning who is a well-established jewellery designer/maker and owner of Gemmipop Designs based in Oswestry. She said “I’m really excited to be running this group at Qube because I’ve always enjoyed sharing my love of making things, and I’m so looking forward to meeting new people with creative interests. I hope we can encourage each other’s creativity and learn new things.”
Qube’s Arts Development Officer, Jim Creed, said “we are incredibly excited to be running this project thanks to the Tampon Tax Community Fund. We really want local women to get involved by bringing along whatever they’re currently making and using the sessions as a chance to relax, be creative, and meet new people. It is a great opportunity to take some timeout and be with other likeminded women.”
Leanne Macpherson from the Community Foundation for Staffordshire said “This funding supports the groups on the ground that are making a huge difference to the lives of women and girls. We know there is huge demand out there for these services and are proud to help small organisations working in our community to access vital public funding, which otherwise they may miss out on.”
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic the Work in Progress project had to be temporarily suspended. However, daily drop-in meetups restarted in June 2021 alongside a two week exhibition in the main gallery at Qube and online. There is also a booklet featuring all the exhibitors, which is available to pick up for free in the gallery.
Gemma was on hand in the gallery during these meetups to offer advice, inspiration and encouragement. The sessions were free to attend and open to any women, over the age of 18, who like to be creative.