River Wey Project

The Meath and Artventure look forward to launching a joint River Wey inspired exhibition which floats upstream, with exhibitions between January and May 2024 at Cranleigh Arts Centre, The Electric Theatre, Guildford, The Lightbox, Woking and Godalming Museum.

Celebrating Local Connections

This exciting collaborative project began in summer 2023 and has enabled the adults who have learning disabilities/ physical disabilities who are supported by both Artventure and The Meath to visit riverside settings together, and to learn about and explore their own areas of interest. From local history to the workings of a lock, barge art to wildlife, the river that runs between the two charities has provided a wealth of creative stimulus.

The collaborative project celebrates both The Meath and Artvenure’s joint appreciation of their beautiful local surroundings, art and enablement. While the project will culminate in an eclectic exhibition which is set to impress, the project has also provided a myriad opportunities for the adults who are supported by the two local charities.

About The Meath Epilepsy Charity

The Meath Epilepsy Charity is a long-established specialist care home based in Godalming. The charity supports adult residents, supported living and day clients who live with complex epilepsy and disabilities to live as safely and as independently as possible. Key to enabling the people they support to live a fulfilled life is The Meath’s onsite Skills Centre where Acting Manager Helen Faulkner-Jones is leading this multi-disciplinary project, together with Mariann Kehrling, Manager of Artventure Trust.

While Helen is pleased with the works created for the exhibition, she explains how it is all too easy to underestimate the multitude of benefits that this collaborative project has for the people supported by the two charities.

“Its’ been wonderful to work together with Artventure on this project over the past six months, we’ve enjoyed trips to new places together for photography and sketches and have visited each other to work together on two occasions. As well as creative opportunities for the people we both support, this project has increased opportunities to access nature, enabled learning about new topics of interest and has been a wonderful opportunity for socialiastion, which is very important to the vulnerable adults we both support.”

About Artventure

Artventure is a creative day service based in Guildford. The charity is nearing its 40th anniversary of supporting local adults with disabilities to nurture their artistic talents. Mariann, Manager at Artventure Trust comments,

“This project has enabled each group of people supported by our two different charities to visit each other for social and creative sessions, as well as visits to RHS Wisley, Dapdune Wharf and Millmead Lock. Through working together on a project which explores the river that runs between us, the people we support have been able to explore their own common and individual areas of interest, in a broad range of media. As well as individual works, it’s especially exciting to work on a large joint piece which many of the people we both support are taking part in.

We are thrilled that this project will culminate with exhibitions at venues which are situated at various points along the River Wey and rivulets. We really look forward to showcasing the creative talents of the people we support within our local community.”

Comments from the clients taking part in this project:

“You can create anything you want. I love the River Wey Project, it started with a visit to Wisley together and I took digital photos for the first time- it turns out I had a hidden talent! Now we’re using some of the photos we took to create paintings for the exhibition.”
Pippa, Artventure Participant

“Art has always been very important to me and I find it therapeutic. This project has provided lots of new subject matters and it’s been good to work with new people and go on visits. The project has also enabled me to step out of my comfort zone and try some creative writing.

Dapdune Wharf was a source of great inspiration as we learnt lots about the history of the River Wey navigation. I learned lots about the lives of the river workers from an old painting there, so a work of art has inspired some further works of art. I think it’s important to hold the exhibitions because people can enjoy our work and see that we all have talents to offer, it is also reaffirming to see our work exhibited.”
Mel, Resident at The Meath Epilepsy Charity.

Exhibitions Along The Wey

You can catch this wide range of joint creative works on exhibition, with free entry, at the following venues:

Cranleigh Arts Centre, Cranleigh 15 January- 31 January 2024
The Electric Theatre, Guildford 5 February to 8 March 2024
The Light Box, Woking 26 March- 7 April 2024
Godalming Museum, Godalming 23 April- 11 May 2024

Please check each venue for opening times.

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