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Archives and Archaeology Service leading innovative arts and archives fusion project

Published Wednesday, 6th April 2016

Worcestershire Archives and Archaeology Service are working with Archives West Midlands and Arts Connect to deliver a revolutionary new project which fuses archives and installation art.

The project is called Strong Rooms, and the contribution of WAAS has been instrumental from the start. As well as staff being involved in carrying out community work for the project, The Hive will be one of only four venues to host the final installation.

Working with globally renowned street artist Mohammed Ali, Archives West Midlands inspires young people to use archives for the first time to consider their locality and record their discoveries creatively.

Mohammed envisages creating an immersive sensory experience, allowing young people to explore the archives and form their own thoughts about accessing the stories of the past.

Mohammed said: “telling stories in exciting and innovative ways that resonate with new people is what excites me: throwing light onto our past and making it relevant to our future.”

This journey will create Strong Rooms: a vivid and interactive installation delivering high quality artistic engagement to local communities, challenging conventional perceptions of archives and helping the sector to engage with young people in new ways.

Strong Rooms will tour the Midlands, stopping at Rugby, Coventry, Dudley and Worcester.

The Strong Rooms project lead is WAAS Community Project Officer Justin Hughes, who added: “the opportunity to take archives out to the very heart of communities in new and dynamic ways is hugely exciting.”

Paul Hudson, WAAS Outreach Manager, said: "We have a wealth of archive resources in the 12 miles of shelving. We've enjoyed helping people discover the stories within them over the years, and we're really looking forward to working with artists and local people to see how the stories will inspire them".

For further information please contact Justin Hughes via archiveswestmidlands@gmail.com or on 01905 844940.