Hitchin Library welcomes artist-in-residence

Art by Sophie Gresswell

With a passion for working with local communities to create works of art, Sophie Gresswell is planning to create an installation to exhibit at Hitchin Library in early December, which will reflect the stories shared and artwork created by Hitchin locals throughout the residency - Credit: Sophie Gresswell

Hertfordshire Libraries has kicked off their inaugural artist-in-residence programme by welcoming Sophie Gresswell to Hitchin Library.

Funded by Arts Council England, the residency programme is part of the 'My Story' project, and will continue until the end of the year.

Earlier this month, Hitchin Library hosted the first drop-in workshop with Sophie, and will host an evening with the artist this Friday (October 29) from 7.30pm called Hold my Tongue, Hitchin, exploring identity through poetry and art.

Sophie Gresswell

Artist Sophie Gresswell uses various mediums, including spoken word, painting, audio and digital technology, to explore identity and belonging - Credit: June Essex

Library manager Rebekah Nicolas said: "The Hitchin Library team and I are delighted to have Sophie with us as our artist-in-residence.

"Sophie’s art and work celebrates identity, diversity and community, three things of such importance that we are honoured to host Sophie and very excited for her to engage and collaborate with the Hitchin community."

Hold my Tongue, Hitchin - funded by Cllr Judi Billing and Cllr Paul Clark - is an opportunity for the Hitchin community to listen to professional poetry on the theme of identity and for them to explore this through art.

Holy My Tongue, Hitchin will be hosted at Hitchin Library on Friday, October 29 with Artist in Residence Sophie Gresswell

Holy My Tongue, Hitchin will be hosted at Hitchin Library on Friday, October 29 with Artist in Residence Sophie Gresswell alongside Haneefah Muhammad and Sidney Belony - Credit: HCC

Sophie Gresswell is a multi-disciplinary artist using spoken word, painting, audio and digital technology to explore identity and belonging and has had artworks exhibited internationally.

With a passion for working with local communities to create works of art, Sophie is planning to create an installation to exhibit at Hitchin Library in early December, which will reflect the stories shared and artwork created by Hitchin locals throughout the residency.

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At Hold my Tongue, Hitchin, Sophie will be joined by performance poet Haneefah Muhammad along with writer and theatre director Sidney Belony.

As part of her residency at Hitchin Library, Sophie will also be working with A-level art students from The Priory School and Year 5 and 6 from Wilshere-Dacre Academy, and deliver a workshop at Hitchin Art Club.

The work produced at drop-in sessions will feature in Sophie's exhibit in collaboration with the people of Hitchin at the start of December.

From the engagement during the residency, Sophie will also produce a piece of permanent artwork for the children’s area at Hitchin Library. Sophie and the library are also working alongside Kava Johnson and North Hertfordshire Diversity and Culture Group to support one of their upcoming projects.

To engage with Sophie and this exciting project, book a ticket for Hold my Tongue, Hitchin, visit the next drop-in session November 6 from 10.30am-1pm, get in touch via social media @hitchinlibrary, visit the library or email mystory@hertfordshire.gov.uk.

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