Paisley Daily Express
Exhibition to shine a light on Men’s Shed
A Johnstone-born photographer has captured the heart and soul of Foxbar Men’s Shed for a new exhibition.
Melissa Mitchell took the photos while she was a student at Glasgow School of Art as part of a project to mark the 50th anniversary of Shelter Scotland, the housing charity that set up the Men’s Shed.
The photos will form part of an exhibition at the Pop! arts space in Paisley’s Piazza Shopping Centre, which opens next Tuesday.
Melissa said: “On the face of it, the Men’s Shed is a group where men get together to share skills, but underneath it’s so much more than that.
“The project has created a safe space for men to come together and speak freely about complex issues such as social isolation, loneliness and mental health, in addition to creating a positive impact in their local community.
“The exhibition will be of interest to more than just men, as a lot of the themes and stories shown are such universal parts of the human experience.”
The Men’s Shed shares skills, such as woodworking, and provides friendship and support to each other in weekly meetups at the Foxbar Youth Learning Centre.
To bring the work of the Men’s Shed to life, the group will also be on hand at the venue demonstrating some of the woodworking items they make and will give away kits for bird boxes for members of the public to assemble at home.
Alongside Melissa’s photographs and the demos, there will be an exhibition by the Sunshine Recovery Café art group.
The Sunshine Recovery Cafe meets every Wednesday afternoon in St Matthew’s Church, Paisley, and is a peer-run cafe for people in recovery from ill mental health and addiction.
The group has been building boat sculptures out of upcycled cardboard.
Members said they’ve enjoyed working with the boat theme as an image of recovery. One said: “We all arrived in different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.”
Pop! is run by Renfrewshire Leisure.
Visual arts project producer, Kate Drummond said: “Our venue is right in the heart of Paisley and completely free for people to visit.
“We’re delighted to have Melissa’s photographs of the Men’s Shed and the Sunshine Recovery Café art group boats on display sideby-side offering reflections into how relatively simple opportunities to connect and build relationships can support people through the challenges of life.”
The exhibition will be launched between noon and 3pm on Tuesday and will include talks about the work of Foundations First, the Shelter Scotland service that has been funded by the STV Children’s Appeal.
It will run until October 12.
The Men’s Shed meets at the Foxbar Youth Learning Centre, Findhorn Avenue, Paisley, on Mondays from 1.30pm till 3.30pm.