‘Older Women Rock the Potteries!’ is a ground-breaking project created and run by Leah Thorn, a spoken word poet who is bringing older women together to produce new voices of ageing. Drawing on her previous work with older women entitled ‘Older Women Rock!’, designed to raise awareness and explore issues facing older women (50+) using poetry, retro clothes, workshops and conversations. Leah’s work celebrates older women, challenges invisibility, unites across differences and subverts dominant assumptions and prejudices about older women.
In collaboration with Keele University’s Institute of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the Keele Centre for Ageing Research, and with funding from Arts Council England, ‘Older Women Rock the Potteries!’ is bringing together poetry-writing and listening partnerships to North Staffordshire, using a pop-up exhibition of clothing embroidered with women’s poetry in York Place as a base for this creative work . It merges creative arts, peer counselling, and social-scientific investigations into gender and ageing to explore the potential for uncovering the dynamics of ageing and the power of the creative arts to change personal and social lives.
Leah is an experienced workshop facilitator, promoting poetry as a tool for self-exploration, self-expression and empowerment. Her workshops are a fusion of spoken word poetry, autobiographical writing, listening exercises and performance skills. Leah’s approach is rooted in her own writing and performance practice, a background in psychology, and forty years’ experience of feminism and peer-counselling. Leah will work with local artists the Cultural Sisters, Dawn Jutton and Emma Scholin Tipping to create new pieces of art for the Older Women Rock collection of poetic clothing.
For details about the project and upcoming events, visit loveolderwomenrock.wordpress.com or call 01782 734340. The exhibition is open Tuesdays and Wednesdays 11am-2pm and Thursdays 11am-4pm until 29 July 2017. York Place, 27 High Street, Newcastle-under-Lyme, ST5 2AE.