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Newham artist’s collaboration with women’s refuges explores trauma

Little Paper Slipper Little Paper Slipper

Thursday, February 6, 2014
1:19 PM

A new body of work by Newham artist Marie-Louise Jones explores traumatic experiences and their lingering psychological effects.

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Born from a series of socially engaging workshops she ran through fundraising, the final project is a culmination of themes tackled by women in refuges who had suffered domestic abuse.

The series of installations is constructed with carefully chosen materials to convey emotions felt by the collaborators.

Marie-Louise said: “It’s very honest and very personal.”

The eponymous installation of The Little Paper Slipper looks at notions of vulnerability, hope, control and power, set against the symbolic backdrop of the Cinderella fairytale.

The 56 delicately suspended paper slippers created by the women forms what Marie-Louise described as “a collective creative expression.”

She said: “There were a lot of women that we worked with that wouldn’t class themselves as creative. Once they got into it, just from a creative perspective, they really enjoyed it.

“It shows the power of art as a therapy and the bonds that creating something together can build.”

Paper, too, is an important symbol for its fragility and flexibility. Despite its low cost, Marie-Louise demonstrates in her artwork that it can be used to create objects of great beauty.

She said the strength of paper is symbolic for the ultimate inner strength of the human heart.

Marie-Louise said: “The accessibility of paper mâché was important; it is something everyone can do.

“Also I suppose the paper, like the women, goes through a process and emerges into something stronger.”

The exhibition is showing at Mother Project Space Gallery in White Post Lane, Hackney Wick, until Sunday.

The gallery is open daily from 11am to 6pm.

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