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Routes to New Roots


Routes to new roots, a Craftspace project, was a series of workshops delivered at community centres across Birmingham, with the aim to establish a Crafts Social Enterprise, for newly arrived women.

Melanie led a series of illustration and metal workshops based around the themes of migration and the natural world. During her sessions the women explored these ideas further through the theme of journeys - those made by birds and flower seeds - as they migrate to different countries.

Melanie provided thin sheets of metal foils that were printed with colourful maps of the world and detailed maps of the Birmingham locations, the workshops were held in. Some women selected the map of their country of origin to make their pieces, others one of the local maps that showed where they now live, combining the two on occasion.

Birds and flowers were hand drawn and embossed into the metal foils, and the individual components cut out and placed on a map of the world to create an instant communal piece. Each participant made several pieces and developed them in their own way, thus resulting in a huge range of flowers and birds.

All the individual pieces were brought together to create one meadow full of individual flowers and three beautiful framed collages, including world maps, which reflect where women have travelled from and where they are now.