Talking Heads at Dorset Museum

DORSET Museum has a fascinating new exhibition, My Creative Life: Talking Heads, clay sculptures inspired by the work of Elisabeth Frink, on in Dorchester until 6th March 2022.

The heads on display are the expression of a creative process during six workshops which began at the museum in March 2020. They were aimed at adults with learning difficulties, men with mental health issues and older people suffering from isolation and loneliness during the Covid lockdowns, and were led by  Janna Edwards, founder of 15 Days in Clay, and Frink expert Annette Ratuszniak, who introduced participants to sculptures by Elisabeth Frink to inspire them.

Just as Frink expressed ideas using her hands and materials, participants responded through clay to personal experience and what was happening in the world around them. The workshops were a vehicle for the group to show how they have felt and still feel as we all continue to deal with the pandemic.

The finished heads, all very different, are a testimony to their creativity and the benefits of the project which provided a safe place to meet as well as the freedom for individuals to express their feelings and emotions through the tactile qualities of clay.

The sculptures tell many personal stories. Words carved into clay, decorative features including flowers and stars and textured surfaces reveal expressions, reflect thoughts, suggest visual connections and echo the personality of each artist.