Refugee and migrant women inspire new exhibition at School of Jewellery

Belonging to us exhibition on show in the School of Jewellery atrium

A new exhibition has recently launched at the renowned Birmingham City University (BCU) School of Jewellery celebrating 10 years of Shelanu, a craft collective that supports women with making and selling contemporary jewellery.

School of Jewellery

Birmingham City University

Showcased in the School of Jewellery’s Atrium, the ‘Belonging to us' exhibition - nurturing women through making - has been curated by the charity Craftspace and is free to view until Friday 28 April.  

Among the exhibited pieces is a range of sustainable jewellery, called the ‘Nurture Collection’, which has been designed and created by migrant women from countries such as Pakistan, Hong Kong, Israel, India and Kurdistan.   

Rachael Colley, a Birmingham-based artist and Visiting Lecturer at the BCU School of Jewellery, helped the Shelanu Craft Collective develop the Nurture Collection.

Over the last 10 years the Shelanu Craft Collective has helped migrant and refugee women improve their English, gain confidence, and develop craft skills.

Kinneret, a previous Shelanu participant and maker, said: “Everyone at Shelanu is from different countries and different cultures, but we all sit around one table and try to develop and create something new together. It’s really an amazing process and helped me to feel more at home.”

As well as learning new making skills and creating high-quality craft, the women are supported in learning business skills and running workshops for the community. The exhibition is also highlighting other creative projects which support women.

Members of the collective, with help from local artists, have designed and produced the jewellery which they have been able to sell through the Craftspace website, as well as through other exhibitions and craft fairs.      

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