I had wanted to document a domestic abuse organisation for a while. The theme of domestic abuse had a personal resonance with me, but I wanted to put a positive spin on that experience and capture something that had a 'light at the end of the tunnel' feel about it. I felt it was just a matter of waiting until the right project came along. And so it did. Through a contact at TRJFP (see previous project), I became friends with a survivor of domestic abuse. Having escaped harrowing and abusive conditions, she informed me that part of her recovery was thanks to a fantastic Bradford based project that taught art therapy workshops to female survivors of domestic abuse, as a way of aiding their recovery process. That immediately caught my interest. The idea that art could be used a healing tool was one that I was all too familiar with and also massively supportive of. So thus I was introduced to Jill Boyd, the founder of 'The Butterfly Project.'
The Butterfly Project offers a safe and relaxed space where women can support each other and find time for themselves. The meetings focus on creativity, learning new skills, support and empowerment through activities. By engaging with the various group sessions, women meet others dealing with similar situations; they find a supportive peer, and empathetic listener, who can understand and support them in a completely non-judgemental manner. Women thus feel less isolated and increase their wellbeing by forming meaningful relationships and friendships.
I met with Jill and their sister organisation, the sterling Bradford based, 'Staying Put,' and agreed to cover a four week documentation period of these workshops. This resulted in a celebrated exhibition at the lauded Kala Sangam in Bradford in November 2016, and various pop-up exhibitions throughout the West Yorkshire district.
These are some of the images that I captured from my time with The Butterfly Project.