Who we are
#WeMadeThis is a Hull-based community group (amateur collective) established in 2017, run entirely by volunteers, specialising in large-scale craft projects.
What we deliver
- Several large-scale community craft projects per year, involving as many people as possible in the creation of publicly accessible installations across Hull and surrounding area.
- ‘Maker Days’ where people can come together (in reality or on-line)to work on their own ideas for the current project or be inspired by others. These are held in various accessible locations across the city and surrounding area, are free to attend and don’t need to be booked in advance.
- Access to a ‘community stash’ of materials for use at the Maker Days and by those creating work for the projects generally.
Beliefs and values
- Everyone is creative. Everyone can make something, from a one-year old toddler to a 102-year old nursing home resident, and everyone’s contribution is equally valid and valuable. This is also why we prefer to talk about ‘making’ and ‘makers’ in the broadest sense of the word – as it’s as inclusive as we can make it.
- No barriers. Anyone and everyone should be able to take part in our projects. There are no selection criteria or processes – essentially if someone’s happy to make something, they’re in. It’s also why we strive to hold our Maker Days in accessible places, why they are free of charge and why we have a ‘community stash’ of materials that makers can dip into should they find themselves short of something. This ‘no barriers’ principle also extends to the finished product – #WeMadeThis installations will always be held in accessible public spaces and free to attend.
- It’s the people that make it. Something that is often said of Hull, and which is equally true of this organisation. Whilst being creative is what brings us together, this ‘togetherness’ in and of itself – the ‘We’ in #WeMadeThis – is just as important; as the strapline on this website says, we’re about “celebrating craft and community across Hull and beyond.”
- You make it, you own it. Partly this is the obvious ‘if you’ve made something for one of our projects, it remains yours beyond the end of the project. But more importantly it’s about that other, more buzzwordy type of ‘ownership’. We believe that to really involve people in the arts, and to be in it for the long haul, the best way to do so is by actively involving them, i.e. by them being participants / creators / makers. That way, art becomes something that they do and benefit from, rather than something that is done to them; something of which they can proudly say: “We made this.”
In summary, community making is not simply about producing artefacts or exhibitions; it is the togetherness and creativity involved in the participation – either in creating or in observing the outcomes – that gives the activity its real value. When this is shared across a community, greater engagement is the outcome and this has a positive impact on all who participate. #WeMadeThis is designed to be inclusive and accessible to all, actively making the effort to be so by siting activities within the community and making them free to access, thus removing two recognised major barriers to participation and engagement. In this way, #WeMadeThis will continue to engage and involve people in making, achieving and enjoying across Hull and surrounding area into the future.
Our first project saw over 800 people, aged 1 to 102, involved in the creation of locally-themed decorations for 31 ‘Christmas Trees’ in 24 locations across Hull and beyond. Following the success of the project, it was decided to continue along the same lines, and plan another three projects for 2018. The first project, Easter Treats, once again involved tree decoration. The second project, Hull Spirit: Iconic People & Places brought all of the makes together in one central location (Hull Minster), and received over 6,000 visitors. Our final 2018 project was the second edition of the Christmas Trees, Christmas Trees Revisited.
2019 saw another three projects come to fruition, beginning with #WeMadeThisSpring , a city-wide flower garland trail. In September, we hosted another exhibition at Hull Minster: Hull Spirit 2: Trailblazers, and December saw the third edition of our Christmas trees entitledtitled Christmas Threes!
In 2020, we planned a further three projects, Bloomin’ Hull (28 March – 18 April) the second edition of our city-wide flower garland trail. Postcards from Hull (April – September) a travelling exhibition which grows as it goes. and Christmas Trees 4Ever (5 – 27 December): the fourth edition of our Christmas trees, with a reduce – reuse – recycle focus. However, we didn’t plan for a pandemic and as muchof what we do entails wide-scale interaction with others, these projects required a re-think! Bloomin’ Hull was ‘pruned’ so that it could be delivered safely. Postcards from Hull became a project which is stored in an on-line album for safer times – but received 100 submissions nonetheless. Christmas Trees 4Ever had to take account of social distancing, the rule of six and not encouracing anyone to travel far from their home. However, it went up in spite of those restrictions and was a welcome highlight in difficult times.
Between 2018 and 2020, all our projects were funded by Back To Ours, Hull’s Arts Council funded Creative People & Places project. This is crucial as our projects are open to all, and participation is free at the point of delivery.
In 2021, Helping Hands, a tribute to all those who had helped and supported others during the pandemic was delivered and evident in 90 venues across the city and immediate environment. This was followed by Piecing Hull Together, designed to give people a sense of place and required people to create jigsaw pieces to illustrate their experience of Hull. Finally Christmas Wishes which saw 1,500 hand-made cards and decoration packs delivered to people in residential care, supported housing and the homeless. These projects were funded by a small grant from the Arnold Clark Community Fund.
For regular updates, see our Facebook group #WeMadeThis – Work In Progress or follow us on Twitter and Instagram @wemadethishull.
If you’d like to be involved, join our Facebook group #WeMadeThis – Work In Progress.