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The Love Project is set in Barrow in Furness in Cumbria. It’s a project involving women, offering a space to get together and to share stories about love and about their town of Barrow. As we discover women’s experiences of love and relationships, we’ll also be gathering stories about Barrow in Furness over the decades. A different but exciting way to collect and share a town’s heritage.
Life and Love across the years
As the years have passed, along with fashion, music and politics, the perception of love and women’s choices and expectations have changed. All these things are contained in stories, but many of these stories have not yet been told.
It might be a fair assumption to think that young women today learn from their mothers and grandmothers, but a report by the DOVE Self Esteem Project states that ‘The top wish among all teen girls is for their parents to communicate better with them. This includes frequent and more open conversations.’ (Source: ‘Real Girls, Real Pressure: A National Report on the State of Self-Esteem (Dove, 2008)).
Love is a deep and often complex issue, and it’s hard to give another person advice when love is a subjective experience. But love stories are a powerful way to convey messages: stories about navigating relationships, distinguishing between lust and love, developing a strong sense of self-worth, making choices, making mistakes, about laughing, crying, longing and celebrating. And as it is told, each story also paints an image of life in different periods in Barrow’s history; bringing together a collection that becomes part of Barrow’s heritage.
Outcomes: What the love stories will lead to
Simple but powerful: Sharing stories in Barrow. One of the most powerful outcomes of the Barrow Love Project will be the sharing of stories among women, both in the Red Tent and beyond. We hope this will filter down through families and in community settings and reinforce the nurturing role that older women can play in younger women’s lives.
Love Stories On Line. The Love Project website will feature some of the stories that emerge in the Red Tent as well as any that are contributed from beyond the space of the tent. Watch it grow.
Live Broadcast of Love Stories, Valentine’s Day 2015. Tune in for a live on-line broadcast of some of the stories.
An Anthology of Love. Stories from the Love Project will be gathered together in a small book, ‘A Love Anthology – Through The Generations’, which will be produced in 2015.
Love Songs. The women’s choir, Ghyll Singers of Ulverston, will be taking inspiration from the love stories to create songs of love and heritage in Barrow.
The Love Project Installation. The stories, poems, memories and photos collected during the project will be gathered together for an exhibition with the Red Tent in 2015: a chance to encounter the past, meet other women, celebrate, reflect.
Archive of stories from Barrow. The audio recordings made in the Red Tent sessions will be archived in Barrow’s Dock Museum.
The Love Project Team
Artistic Vision & Management: Amanda Mortlock, DARE Projects
Design and Creation of the Red Tent: Hannah Fox
Project Website & Anthology: Harriet Fraser
On-line broadcast: Octopus Collective
Song writing and Performing: The Ghyll Singers
The Love Project has been made possible with thanks to funding by Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and Barrow Borough Council and the support of the Dock Museum and Barrow Library. We’d also like to thank Bill Clark for a wide selection of Barrow photographs.