Tears in our eyes as we say our goodbyes: Ella Deacy

The whole experience of working with The Whitworth and The WYC has been a complete whirlwind. 5 months happened fast but we swooped into the biggest events and gave lots of people a chance to be part of every bit.

I’d say that curating ‘And Now We Are Plastic’ was the most exciting thing I’ve been part of in a long time. Peter and myself led the group and we all worked toward the fabulous show that we see today down in the Collections Centre. As soon as we started the Residency we were thrown in at the deep end with getting the group to think about ideas and themes for the exhibition, whilst doing our first workshop and organising Black History Month event.

The fast-paced environment has definitely given me ideas for organising things myself in the future and taught me that if you’re not getting help, delegate! But also, that I can do these things and I am good at project planning and I have a lot of new ideas in my head that turn rapidly into creative solutions.

Having the opportunity to work with Poppy Bowers, the curator at The Whitworth has been lovely. She has been very calm, honest and respectful to us. To have her show us the decisions that need to be considered when doing a show and question our choices really gave Peter and Myself confidence and support from a professional that I feel was extremely valuable.

Doing the outreach session let me see through myself what the future me could do for people who may be as under-confident as I myself have been. I got into filmmaking from doing animation workshops set up by Middlesbrough Council Arts Development Team. Connecting with people from different backgrounds and adults who were interested in teaching things alternative to the ever-inaccessible curriculum was a life saver for me. I would hope that my work can reflect this.

The outreach made me think of when you find yourself feeling like an ever-growing cabbage. The world of work, education, and society can chew you up and spit you out. Just because you aren’t what they wanted to produce, or imagined you would taste of once they gave you all they had. You are what you are, enjoy your wobbly leaves and weird flavour, your green shades and your roundness. Their will be more flowers blooming from your skin than you imagined soon. People need to be given strength from others and see idol’s and people to follow within the field they flourish.

Getting asked by Susan Ferguson to design a workshop for the entrance of The Andy Warhol Exhibition was an amazing tug at my conceptual brain. The Wig piece brought together the Image of the artist himself and highlighted current issues involving Trump. I felt that Warhol would have been quietly chipping away at this faux celebrity had he still been with us. So it was nice to do a simple but powerful piece.

So doing three big events, outreach workshops, curating an exhibition from the caves of The Whitworth’s collection and making an amazing event happen all from our hard work has really set me up on a strong island with a lot more survival skills.

Violet, you’re turning violet…The Everlasting Gobstopper is not quite ready yet but Paul Hamlyn Foundation has put a big investment into making it grow into the juiciest part of The Whitworth yet.

Discussions from the many differing people, and the absorbing of sorbets made from opinions of many will lead to a tasty place.