Grantham Action Zone

A programme funded by Historic England


Dragonfly, By Claire Carrington

Where: 18 Westgate, Arish Barbers

During the first Lockdown, I, like many others, decided to use it as an opportunity to get outside and enjoy nature. As one person I spoke to said: ‘It allowed me to slow down and see the flowers and bugs from my children’s perspective.’

This resonated with my own experience of taking close-up photos of flowers and insects during my hour of exercise, so when given the opportunity to make a sculpture to reflect the Lockdown experience, I wanted to highlight this idea of looking at nature in close-up.

I decided on an insect, as the structure is both intricate and interesting, and on ‘Dragonfly’, to reflect Wyndham Park where the Environment Agency, South Kesteven District Council, Lincolnshire Rivers Trust and River Care, have recently created new habitats to encourage wildlife for people to enjoy, including damselflies and dragonflies.

‘Dragonfly’ is constructed from recycled materials including tin lids, ring pulls, old cutlery, wire hangers, chicken wire and kitchen utensils as well as mending plates, nuts, bolts and copper wire.

Based at her home studio in Ropsley, near Grantham, Claire uses a range of techniques and mediums to create original 2D artwork, finding inspiration in the natural world and the beauty of our Great British landscapes.

She works in acrylic, print and digital techniques to create vibrant images, from representational to abstract, which can be printed on to a range of surfaces.

She also creates 3D sculptures and installations for community projects using wire, wicker and a variety of found and recycled materials.

Claire’s wire-work also extends to jewellery-making, where she creates copper and silver-wire jewellery using found items including shell, stone and glass.

Placing Echos, By Emilie Nunn

Where: 14 Westgate

‘Placing Echoes’ reflects and shares the memories that are held within the physical spaces of Grantham.

Grantham’s heritage is not only held within the physical buildings that surround our local spaces, but also through the memories and past experiences that exist among us.

The final artwork has been created through shared conversations over Lockdown with the local community.

Emilie would like to thank Grantham Civic Society for permission to use the photographs.

Emilie’s artistic practice as a photographer is concerned with local communities and how they can evolve through interaction and conversation.

She graduated with a First-Class Honours degree in Photography from the University of Lincoln in 2017 and is currently studying part time for an MA in Fine Art.

Emilie’s previous work has included commissions from Imagineer Productions to produce ‘Hidden Stories’, a documentary photography project and for SO Festival to produce ‘Emerge’, a project which centred around individuals confined to their homes through Lockdown.

Emilie is an emerging Creative Producer and has had numerous positions as an assistant producer and festival event assistant for projects such as Frequency International Festival of Digital Culture, Spilsby Light Night and Wulfram 2020.


The Democratisation of knowledge

Where: Oblios Bistro, 90 Westgate

Reclaimed polypropylene and vinyl

The Democratisation of Knowledge takes inspiration from specific groups in the community that aren’t easily heard to uncover the hidden stories of Grantham through lockdown and celebrates Grantham’s heritage as a seat of learning and home to the Trigge chained Library, founded in 1598 for the ‘better increasinge of learnings and knowledge’ – the first public library in the country. It is still housed in its original setting in St Wulfram’s Church for the education of everyone.

The Covid-19 crisis has impacted working and personal lives, ultimately requiring us all to re-invent ourselves, be flexible, creative in how we use our skills and experience and to take on new roles. Since many families have been through the unique experience of national school closures, with women statistically more likely to have taken on the majority of the childcare, they were asked to reflect on their experiences of home-schooling. Heartfelt thanks to all the parents and carers who shared their lockdown home-schooling experiences with us.

The sculpture documents these contemporary stories and fuses them to the town’s rich heritage in celebration and reflection at a time of re-evaluation across the globe.

Lou Jones is a versatile designer, maker with over 25 years’ experience of working in theatre, television, museums, event production, carnival and community arts. 

Trained as a theatre designer with a BA in Theatre Design and an MA in Scenography. She has worked extensively in regional theatres including the Royal Shakespeare Company, Belgrade Theatre and Birmingham Repertory Theatre. Recent projects include collaborations with Nadya Monfrinoli on community art projects and parades. 

Lou works from her workshop in Lincolnshire, where she combines theatre commissions with festival work and an extensive community engagement programme.

Nadya Monfrinoli has a socially-engaged practice spanning nearly 25 years and has extensive experience of devising and delivering collaborative and participatory projects nationally & internationally. 

She is interested in making and exhibiting art where people are, in the public realm, and in making art accessible to all. 

With a specialism in ephemeral sculpture and installation, she collaborates a great deal with a wide range of professionals and community groups across many disciplines including theatre, fashion and public art.

Freedom In Lockdown, By Angela Thorpe

Where: George Centre, Westgate

During Lockdown many of us turned to activities that we may have lost touch with, previously didn’t have the time for, or had never tried before. The one thing that stood out to me personally during Lockdown was the amount of families and individuals out on their bikes. This was one of the activities that could still be done during the first Lockdown restrictions with family members, bringing closeness and quality time and of course fresh air and fitness! But it also meant families spent time seeing parts of Grantham and the surrounding area in a different light.

The main material that has been used are recycled bike wheels along with reflectors. I hope that the use of these materials provoke a reflection onto the positive aspects during the first Lockdown from the audience. Written on each decoration is a place or visual observation from the individuals and families that was noticed whilst out cycling during the restrictions.

Angela is passionate about using recycled materials in her artwork and is trained in Fine Art and Material Culture.

She has exhibited her work in Grantham and previously had the opportunity to work on schools and community art projects through the town’s biennial Gravity Fields Festival.

Messages and a Bubble

By Marcus Miller and Cara Newton (Students from Grantham College)

Where: 95 Westgate

Marcus and Cara have created an artwork which explores the phenomenon of bubbles combined with messages that represent the feelings of the community. Of separation, frustration and ultimately of hope. 

Marcus is a student of Art and Design at Grantham College and has had Industry experience with the National Trust and Quality Furniture Company in Grantham.

Cara is also a student at Grantham College and has enjoyed varied projects within her HNC. These have included designs for Belton House’s reindeers with the National Trust and designs for LNER as part of the wall of the Grantham tunnel leading to the train station.

Angels By Anne-Marie Kerr – Artist and Project Mentor

Where: 29 Market Place, Grantham Appliance Service

2020 promised so much for the Grantham by way of events. The two main ones being Gravity Fields Science & Arts Festival and Wulfram 2020, celebrating the 1300th anniversary of St Wulfram – both of which were sadly cancelled.

For Wulfram 2020 I had been asked to explore the possibility of creating a Festival of Angels within St Wulfram Parish Church. I had researched Angels, their meaning/virtues but when Lockdown started I heard myself and others using ‘Angel’ or ‘Angels’ in conversation more and more, with particular reference to nurses, doctors, key workers and the emergency services.

I am using this opportunity to create a series of Angelic forms to represent the virtues and goodness that surfaced during what was a dark time for some. I have chosen the virtues that I feel best represents my experiences over this period allowing the audience to reflect on their own experiences and the people that have been there for them.

Anne-Marie is a designer who thrives on the creative process. Her passion for making has been life long and extends across multiple 2D and 3D processes.

Trained in 3D Design specialising in Furniture Design and Manufacture, she spent several years working in the design industry before moving to Lincolnshire and moving into Design Education.

Having worked for over 20 years sharing her industry knowledge with students of all ages and abilities Anne-Marie has designed a vocational style curriculum working with outside agencies such as the National Trust and Rosa Productions giving students opportunities beyond the normal teaching environment.

Arch Angel Gabriel (White) – Inspirational, harmony, communication
Arch Angel Raphael (Green) – The healer of body, mind and spirit
Arch Angel Michael (Blue) – Strength, protection, courage

Dawn Wesselby – Project Artist Mentor

Dawn’s background in art had been mainly as a recreational hobby, but after taking voluntary redundancy in 2016 from Nat West she decided to take a year out from working and applied for an HNC in Art and Design at Grantham College. She went onto study a BA (Hons) in Fine Art at the University of Derby and her work is primarily in 3D. She previously ran Red Tents (a goddess focussed women’s group) which involved an element of simple crafting combined with discussion and sharing. She launched the Grantham Arts Trail in 2019.