To the Sun, Moon and Stars...

Gallery Oldham

Past Project

To the Sun, Moon and Stars...

Exhibition open at Gallery Oldham until 8 July

To the Sun, Moon & Stars started as a series of art-based workshops, led by artist Lois Blackburn. 

These workshops invited Oldham’s recovery community to create their own art and investigate individual recovery journeys, using the ancient tradition of amulets and talismans as inspiration. 

Each workshop focused on themes like - the eye, heart, and words of wisdom. Using a variety of material-based processes, metal, fabric, stitch, and wire, people created a range of unique artworks that symbolically speak of their lived experiences. 

Creating as a form of collective activism generated new conversations on all things recovery framing recovery as a realistic, visible, and attainable lifestyle option for Oldham’s community of people in recovery. 

“In our workshop conversation turned to how hands are used for social connection, as a tool for recovery, sensuality, passion, prayer, protection, stress, signalling, a stop sign, of boundaries. We also reflected on how they can be destructive, violent tools. We talked of communicating with our hands, of healing, of rituals in recovery, of feeling, touching, loving. Of holding hands,” Anonymous workshop participant.  

Download the exhibition catalogue here.


A Recoverist Month event

Recoverist = recovery + activist

Textile artist Lois Blackburn believes a little bit of crafting goes a long way towards opening up conscious and creative conversations on things we find hard to talk about.

In this series of free craft based workshops exploring recovery from substance use, Lois introduced the concept of talismans and symbols of luck as a form of protection and as objects rich with associations of power, influence, and importance.

Using metals, fabric, stitch, wire and clay, participants created their own artworks which will be included in an exhibition at the Gallery Oldham.

Each workshop focussed on a new theme so participants can attend as many or as few as they like.

Creating as a form of collective activism generates collective conversations on all things recovery and much, much more - exploring recovery as the name of the game and a realistic lifestyle option for Oldham’s people and communities in recovery.

Lois Blackburn exhibits her work internationally and her work is housed in public collections including Bankfield Museum, Halifax and Leighton House Museum, Kensington. In 2018, two quilts were archived with The Quilters’ Guild.

Her work focuses on the creation of issue-based artworks, often using batik, quilts and hand fans. She has 25 years' experience within the arts and health field. From 2006-2021 she set up and ran the Community Interest Company arthur+martha with poet Philip Davenport.