Topic  The relationship between hope and resilience – Elaine Foster-Gandey, Alex Gurr, Evelyn Palmer and Abigail Horn
Date  Wednesday 29 September 2021
Time  4:00-5:30 pm
Location  Online (please arrive in the online platform 5 minutes prior)
Price  Free
Tickets  Book a place

Session Summary

The aim of our Resilience Forum, ‘The relationship between hope and resilience’, is to bring awareness of the exhibition called ‘Hope’ showing at Maidstone Museum from 18 September to 31 October 2021. The exhibition shares the process of making a giant dress sculpture woven with the words of hope by participants who are normally unseen in society – participants with mental health difficulties, visual impairment, elderly and school children. We will share details of the workshops and include participant voices through live feedback or by reading out the words participants have written in their feedback. We may also look to video participants and share some of this footage at the Forum. All participants and speakers will reflect on overcoming any personal difficulties during the process of the work. We will also share how the project came about, the ideas and inspiration at the core of the project, and relate this to the theme of resilience.

We aim to include as many participant voices as possible throughout the Forum, including the artists, assistants, Maidstone Museum staff (who have had jobs cut due to the pandemic), and participants in the workshops, plus share the difficulties they have faced during this time and what impact the project has had on them.


Elaine Foster-Gandey, Alex Gurr, Evelyn Palmer and Abigail Horn

Elaine Foster-Gandey has run art projects with organisations including: Sussex Oakleaf, supporting people with mental health needs; Grace Eyre foundation, working with participants with learning disabilities; and Viewcraft, a charity running weekly art and craft groups for visually and partially sighted people in the Eastbourne and Wealden areas. As a facilitator, researcher and collaborator her interests lie in exploring creative and inclusive ideas around drawing, movement, sculpture, print, textiles and film.

Alex Gurr, exhibitions development officer at Maidstone Museum, is responsible for contributing to the delivery of a high quality, customer-focused service by project managing the museum’s temporary exhibitions programme, touring exhibitions and café gallery. Alex also supports the Public Programming Manager in the logistics of permanent gallery redisplays.

Evelyn Palmer is the schools project manager at Maidstone Museum.

Abigail Horn is currently an associate artist for Theatre Royal Brighton and Tea Dance for Little People. She has 18 years’ experience working with children and young people, and is comfortable working with people whose behaviour can be challenging and those with speech and language difficulties. Her work is very theatrical, using installation and narrative as stimuli for participants to create their own work.

Who might be most interested

Academics, practitioners, researchers, students, carers, community workers, service users, people with lived experience of mental health problems, young people, adults, all ages.

Useful links

Elaine’s work is inspired by the artist, Lily Yeh, who talks about making art in broken places. Elaine would like to share with you the following YouTube video where Lily Yeh talks about her life and career:

Access Information

The Resilience Forum will be held online on Microsoft Teams. Please arrive in the online platform 5 minutes before the start of the session.  An email with instructions will be sent out the day before. This platform has been chosen as it appears to be more secure and transparent in its data practices than many others. Please see Boingboing’s privacy statement for more information about Microsoft Teams terms and conditions.

The Resilience Forum

The Resilience Forum is a monthly space, held jointly by the Centre of Resilience for Social Justice and Boingboing. We welcome and encourage discussion, disagreement and debate about resilience research and practice. Presenters at the Resilience Forum have included parents, young people, academics and practitioners. ANYBODY (with a pulse!) involved with or interested in resilience research is welcome and attendance at the Resilience Forum is free. We only ask that you have tried to get your head around our resilience approach or at least something specific on resilience before you come so we all have a basic shared understanding. You might also like to read this jargon busting sheet.