Between a Rock and a Hard Place II
Public Art project in Plymouth city centre.
Media: Unfired clay, kidney beans and soil
Working with children and community groups in Plymouth to create 460 clay figures – the number representing the number of Asylum seekers supported in Plymouth. The aim of the project was to raise awareness about the problems faced by refugees and asylum seekers in being able to integrate in local communities due to peoples misconceptions… ‘they take our jobs, receive financial support, housing… we are being swamped by foreigners…etc.’ The installation explores the vulnerability and fragility of displaced lives. The figures made from unfired, grey clay are faceless to symbolise the loss of identity and the seeds a quest for a new life.
The workshops in which we made the figures included a presentation and discussion about the reality of the lives of asylum seekers lead by members of the refugee community. The number of figures, 460, is a fraction of the 250,000 people living in plymouth. The figures were displayed in various locations, in small groups, around Plymouth before being brought together in Plymouth city centre at Plymouth Respect festival which celebrates diversity through music and other cultural events.