dpm is a Birmingham-based freelancer with experience of arts and lifestyle features.
Birds come together to create artwork
An exhibition celebrating the 110th anniversary of a Birmingham hospice will be open to all this December - as it takes place in shop windows. John Taylor Hospice's Fleeting Moments had originally been planned for Library of Birmingham but COVID-19 restrictions have meant a move in location and it will now be hosted on the High Street in Erdington and in a Castle Bromwich shopping centre.
People of all ages and backgrounds have spent the spring and summer creating fabric birds which will be brought together in the Fleeting Moments exhibition. Created by Birmingham artists Jane Thakoordin and Margaret Murray, Fleeting Moments will be displayed in the windows of the John Taylor Hospice charity shops in Erdington and Castle Bromwich.
Artist Jane Thakoordin with some of the Fleeting Moments birds
The project was launched in the spring and initially featured workshops where people could come together to create the birds with the artists. But when lockdown hit, the workshops had to be suspended. However, John Taylor put a call out across the city and beyond, sharing templates and a 'how-to' film to encourage people to sew their own birds during lockdown. As a result, the hospice received birds in a huge range of designs and colours from all across the region.
John Taylor Hospice Head of Brand and Media Diane Parkes said: "We were worried that cancelling the workshops would be a problem but in fact, it meant that more people could be involved as anyone could create a bird in their own homes and in their own time. Over the summer we received not just lots of beautifully hand-crafted birds but also some lovely letters telling us how making the birds had kept people occupied with something fun to do while they were unable to go out and socialise."
Fleeting Moments forms part of the hospice's 110th-anniversary celebrations during 2020. Other events have included a poetry competition for children and a new history section on the hospice website. Founded by philanthropists in Birmingham in 1910, John Taylor is one of the oldest hospices in the UK and has provided care for local people for more than a century.
Fleeting Moments will be installed at the John Taylor Hospice Charity Shop at 121 High Street, Erdington B23 6SA from 7-21 December and will then move to the John Taylor Hospice Charity Shop at Castle Bromwich Shopping Centre, 1 3 Timberley Lane, Castle Bromwich B34 7ED from 21 December to January 4.
Diane said: "Our hospice motto is every moment matters and when we launched Fleeting Moments earlier this year we aimed to encourage people to come together to celebrate special moments in their lives. While we've not been able to physically be in the same room, Fleeting Moments has brought us together in a different way."
And the team behind the exhibition have needed to change the project as regulations around the pandemic have altered. "We have had to re-think this project a number of times but adapting to change has always been part of our hospice story," adds Diane. "And we have been determined to share this exhibition with the people of Birmingham in one way or another. We really hope the many people who created birds are able to come along and see their artwork in this Fleeting Moments flock. We are so grateful to everyone who took part and we hope they enjoy seeing the final exhibition they have helped us to create."