Exhibition September 2021

Conversations with Aldershot – An Exhibition

West End Centre Gallery
48 Queens Road
GU11 3JD

Opening times:
Monday Sep 13th – Friday September 24th
Mondays to Thursdays, 10am-9pm and Fridays, 10am-6pm
Please check Saturday venue opening times at time of exhibition
Sundays closed
Artist led activities Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, 10am – 4pm

Private View Monday 20th Sep 7-9

We invite you to come along to this unique exhibition showcasing the artwork of 6 local residents who have collaborated with artist Susan Merrick to share their own experiences of lockdown.

Sameea Jonnud shares images and text collected throughout the lockdown as a visual journal, including her family’s isolated experience of celebrating Eid and Ramadan.

Candice Camacho’s films express the loneliness and desperation she felt as a mother during long periods of isolation.

You can also see and hear poetry written by Debbie Nobbs and Melanie Chiwera, photographic installations by Asia Mahmood and Daisy Edwards, performance documentation from Susan and Candice and vocal work that the group created communally during a series of lockdown zoom sessions. There will also be the opportunity to share your own experiences of lockdown in participatory tasks that the group will run throughout the exhibition.

The exhibition marks the end of the first phase of Conversations with Aldershot, a project collecting the stories and experiences of local people throughout the pandemic. Susan Merrick, associate artist at the West End Centre, and Candice Camacho, the project’s community facilitator, have worked with a group of local women throughout 2021 to reflect on their experience of the lockdowns and to create work to share with their local community. More widely, the group has also been collecting wider stories, thoughts and experiences of lockdown from Aldershot residents and will continue to do this into 2022 with the aim of producing a publication of these experiences as an archive for the town.

This project and exhibition has been made possible with thanks to public funding from a National Lottery project grant, Arts Council England, Rushmoor Borough Council and support from the West End Centre and Hampshire Cultural Trust. Thanks also to artists Amanda Holiday, Annis Joslin and Louise Jordan for their fantastic support in the zoom sessions. And a huge thanks to Candice Camacho for her amazing support as Community Facilitator and collaborator. 

For more information about the project and to keep updated please visit the Facebook page
Or instagram

Notes to editors

Susan Merrick is a Multi-disciplinary artist working with dialogue, performance, photography, film and installation. Her work has a focus on social issues specifically relating to women’s voices. Her collaborations are with artists and non-artists and her projects often explore artists and non-artists working together. 
Susan has received four Arts Council England grants for her socially engaged projects Statements with Semaphore and Conversations with Aldershot and she is the presenter of the Woman Up! Podcast by Desperate Artwives, in association with the Women’s Art Library. Https://www.susanmerrick.co.uk
Instagram @susan_merrick

The West End Centre is operated by Hampshire Cultural Trust, a charitable trust established in 2014 to promote Hampshire as a great cultural county. We manage and support 23 arts and museums attractions across Hampshire, deliver county-wide outreach programmes that bring culture to local communities and care for 2.5 million objects relating to Hampshire’s rich and internationally important heritage. We also deliver a diverse range of social impact initiatives targeted at those who are most vulnerable or disadvantaged and who would not usually have access to arts and culture. Our mission is to provide great arts, heritage, museums and creative programming, working closely with local and national partners, placing communities, our collections and their stories at the heart of everything we do. To find out more, visit hampshireculture.org.uk, follow us on Twitter @HantsCulture and Facebook @HampshireCulturalTrust.