The Icons of Ramsgate project was developed by Ramsgate artist, Carson Parkin-Fairley and its aim was to shine a light on the residents of Ramsgate.
Carson delivered a series of workshops with the East Kent Mencap GOLD group, Pie Factory Music, and a local women’s social group, The Screaming Mary Club. Icon artworks were created during the workshops and the final masterpieces were then proudly put on display at an exhibition at The Wooden Box Gallery in Ramsgate.
12 members of the GOLD group participated in the workshops. They each created an icon of themselves; a colourful display of photos and pictures showcasing everything that is important to them and celebrating all that they love.
Fiona Wonford, East Kent Mencap GOLD Delivery Manager, said: “The whole experience for everyone involved at GOLD has been truly uplifting. Hidden creative talents have been unleashed and confidence has grown as individuals took great pride in sharing their personal life experiences and achievements. Having the artwork displayed in an exhibition was a real first for many and it was fantastic to be able to show their work to friends and family.”
Kirk, East Kent Mencap GOLD member, described his experience: “It was good to look back on my life and see it brought alive in a collage. I enjoyed being in the group. It was a great team with Carson, Hetty, and East Kent Mencap employees. I think the icon’s artwork was very interesting for the community.”
Carson also created four ‘local icons’, who were nominated by the Ramsgate community. They were: John Prentis, fourth generation Prentis Green Grocer, Maxine Morgan, Lead Technician and Manager of Community Projects on Ramsgate Town Council, Sam Battle, musician, composer, and creator of the Ramsgate Synth Museum and This Museum Is Not Obsolete, and the three sisters, Fidan, Fulya and Simge Bağdas from Shakey Shakey Fish Bar.
Carson said: “It has been a joy working with my community. I have a belief that everyone is an icon, all unique and different in our own ways.”
The project was made possible by funding from Arts Council England, and additional funding from Ramsgate Town Council, DelRenzio & DelRenzio Architects, Ramsgate Thrift Store, and The Daylight Lab.