The theme of domestic abuse bore a personal resonance with me, yet I wanted to mimic my own journey and create something that had a 'light at the end of the tunnel' feel about it. 'Staying Put' is a sterling Bradford based charity which encourages the victim to stay but the abuser to leave. Through their critical understanding of the complex recovery processes involved, they worked with a 'survivor', Jill Boyd who is a fine-arts teacher, to establish the marvellous 'Butterfly Project,' The latter delivers art therapy workshops to other female survivors who are at an advanced stage of recovery. 

The Butterfly Project offers a safe and relaxed space where women can support each other and take time out. The meetings focus on creativity, learning new skills, support and empowerment through activities. By engaging in the 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. The women thus feel less isolated and increase their wellbeing by forming meaningful relationships and friendships. 

I covered the workshops for four weeks. This resulted in an exhibition at Kala Sangam in Bradford in November 2016, and coincided with 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.


Enjoy, Shy


Please note, all the images are copyright protected by Shy Burhan and no usage rights are implied or allowed without express permission of the above…