To celebrate International Women’s Day, there was a program of special events organised as part of the group show ‘Threads’ at Espacio Gallery which I took part in with 49 other artists. The day’s events were well attended by artists and visitors to the gallery.

Upon arrival at the International Women’s Day program at the gallery each delegate was attached to a complete stranger with a thread and asked to converse with each other.  A very unusual situation to be in, but a challenging one.  I was paired with Jim, a fellow artist who was also exhibiting at the show – I had never met him before.

We talked about each other’s practices and our respective pieces which were on display.  It was an interesting exchange and one that I really enjoyed.  It was fun to watch various strangers paired together with a symbolic piece of red string and having conversations in a safe environment.  We all then came together and shared our experiences.

The next part of the day consisted of a talk and workshop about Menopause, what it means to each individual and how it carries with it a lot of misconceptions.  We were invited to write down one word that we felt summed up the Menopause – there were a lot of cards that had ‘hot flushes’ written on them!  We all then had an enlightening discussion about the subject and found it a positive exchange especially when people shared hopeful experiences, like the Menopause being a new lease of life, with the group.

We then had a talk by Heidi Riedel who is the CEO of the Women’s Trust.  Heidi shared with us some testimonials from clients of theirs who had also been given the chance to exhibit work at the ‘Threads’ show.  These ladies were very moved to have been a part of the exhibition and felt the experience had helped them in many positive ways.  Heidi also shared with us details of various services the Women’s Trust offers to help a lot of women who are in really desperate situations, and how the Trust has given them hope for a better future.

Finally we had a light-hearted session where we all shared jokes and laughed together, a very fitting way to end a delightful afternoon with a lovely group of people.