ArtReach – Cultural Arts Project

ArtReach is a charity specialising in developing creative projects with refugee and asylum seeker artists.  A grant from the WOMAD Foundation enabled ArtReach to work with two artists from refugee backgrounds, who created community projects introducing techniques and themes that are central to their work.

Maliheh Zafarnezhad from Iran was able to create new work exploring family heritage and multiculturalism, which resulted in an online exhibition of work as part of Journeys Festival International 2020. The project included online workshops, a video and a family friendly lockdown craft pack for participants to learn how to create an Iranian photo collage inspired by her own distinctive style.

Mohammed Barrangi used the Womad Foundation grant and matched funding from the Arts Council to create two new exhibitions and also led workshops with community groups at the Apex Gallery in Portsmouth.  The workshops provided an introduction to collage and calligraphy exploring traditional mythical stories of Iran, with the individual pieces created displayed in the gallery space to forming one large collage.

Even during the pandemic these projects were still able to meet their overarching aims to utilise the arts to support refugees, bring communities together, break down cultural barriers and support integration within diverse communities.