Art of Celebration

In 2012 Ordsall Hall was granted the Inspire mark by the London 2012 Inspire programme for its project 'The Art of Celebration'. The London 2012 Inspire programme recognises innovative and exceptional projects that were directly inspired by the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

'The Art of Celebration' was inspired by the integration of arts and culture into the London 2012 Games to foster a shared sense of community and ownership. By doing so, the Olympic ethos of understanding and friendship amongst all people is simultaneously celebrated.

Throughout the summer of 2012, Ordsall Hall and ceramic artist Rosanna Martin worked with visitors and communities across the city to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Great Hall being built. This was done using the media of clay and visual storytelling. Participants created 500 oak leaves and decorated them with images inspired by the hall and their lives in Salford. The oak leaf was chosen due to the use of oak wood in the Hall's structure and its traditional symbolism of unity, strength and power.

The culmination of the project saw the unveiling of the communities' work at Ordsall Hall on the 9 September 2012 with visitors invited to take a leaf away with them, disseminating this special artwork far and wide. As a thank you to all those who created work for the exhibition, artist Rosanna Martin gifted individuals with a limited edition ceramic acorn.

Participants feedback was overwhelmingly positive, with many surprised by their own creativity; one family commented that the making process was like 'magic'. One group of women commented on how playing with clay was reminiscent of playing with mud and reminded them of their childhoods in Pakistan.

Throughout their work, participants shared the people, places and stories that are meaningful to them. These included family and friends, traditional remedies and local architecture, cultural traditions and cooking.

We would like to thank the Friends of Salford Museums Association and Manchester Grammer School for their generous support to the project.

Please also visit our Art of Celebration project album via our Ordsall Hall Facebook page.