Celebrating The Love Project

Celebrating The Love Project in Barrow last night – an evening full of singing, laughter, chatter and smiles. It was a wonderful way to mark the project and show what has come from meetings with women, young and old.

Ghyll Singers in full voice
Ghyll Singers in full voice

Amanda Mortlock, who has led the whole project, introduced the Ghyll singers who performed the Love Song, written for the event by Anthony Milledge. The words were taken from interviews, so that during the performance several women smiled, nodded their heads and nudged their neighbours, recognising their own stories . The song has been recorded and will soon be uploaded to this site.

After this very grand opening, the fruits of the project were on display for people to explore. Beside the sofa, copies of The Love Project book (compiled by Harriet Fraser) were available for all the women who had taken part. It was a quiet corner – books were opened and women soon became engrossed in the contents.

The Love Project Book
Getting drawn in – the Love Project book

The website was also on show, and some of the interview recordings were available to listen to. The ingenious listening station is a set of framed tapestries embroidered with words, which, when you press them, trigger a recording. This is the product of sound specialist Andrew Deakin and textile artist Sue Deakin, and captivated everyone who plugged in.

Listening in - Love Project interviews
Listening in – Love Project interviews

In another area of the room, a film made by Dan Williams (Moonmanmedia) captured the essence of Barrow, with voice overs from women revealing how the town has changed over time. And of course, the beautiful Red Tent, which had been made by Hannah Fox, was in place.

The Love Project's beautiful Red Tent
The Love Project’s beautiful Red Tent, , with one of the women discovering her own story in the book

Many of the women who have taken part in the project came along last night. Inevitably, more stories streamed forth, and some heartfelt sentiments were shared between young and old.

A group of teenagers who came in earlier for a private view were very curious about what older women went through in their teenage years, and how things have changed. We sat on the sofa and could have talked long into the night … it was a real affirmation of the value of gathering stories such as these, for all generations. And Irene’s hilarity at hearing herself talk just about sums up the joy that the project has brought to so many.

Love Project interviews
This is what it’s like to listen to yourself telling stories about the younger you!