Conversations with Aldershot - the exhibition

A unique exhibition at the West End Centre from 13 to 24 September.

Conversations with Aldershot

Local artist Susan Merrick collected stories, comments and thoughts of lockdown experiences from people living and working in Aldershot. They have been used to create a small archive of our town. In early 2021, images from the project were displayed in Aldershot Town Centre. The images have now returned to the town centre.

Susan Merrick, associate artist at the West End Centre, who is also a local resident, has worked with a group of local women throughout 2021 to reflect on their experience of the lockdowns and to create work to share with their local community. More widely, the group has also been collecting wider stories, thoughts and experiences of lockdown from Aldershot residents and will continue to do this into 2022 with the aim of producing a publication of these experiences as an archive for the town. 

The exhibition

Location: West End Centre gallery, 48 Queens Road, Aldershot, GU11 3JD 
Opening dates and times: 
13 September to 24 September, Mondays to Thursdays from 10am to 9pm and Fridays, 10am to 6pm. Please check Saturday venue opening times at time of exhibition. Sundays closed.

The Conversations with Aldershot exhibition marks the end of the first phase of Conversations with Aldershot, a project collecting the stories and experiences of local people throughout the pandemic. The exhibition is free. 

At the exhibition, Sameea Jonnud shares images and text collected throughout the lockdown as a visual journal, including her family's isolated experience of celebrating Eid and Ramadan. Candice Camacho's films express the loneliness and desperation she felt as a mother during long periods of isolation. You can also see and hear poetry written by Debbie Nobbs and Melanie Chiwera, photographic installations by Asia Mahmood and Daisy Edwards, performance documentation from Susan and Candice and vocal work that the group created communally during a series of lockdown zoom sessions. 

There will also be the opportunity to share your own experiences of lockdown in participatory tasks that the group will run throughout the exhibition on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 10am to 4pm. 

How to get involved in the project

  • Take part in the short online survey to share your thoughts and experiences of lockdown in Aldershot
  • Like, share and comment on the Conversations with Aldershot Facebook Page
  • Message the artist with your ideas through Facebook Messenger
  • The artist would also appreciate your help if you know of any people who may want to share with us in a different way, video, email or phone call

The project is funded by the National Lottery through Arts Council England. We have also provided support, along with the West End Centre and Chapel Arts Studios. 

With thanks to artists Amanda Holiday, Annis Joslin and Louise Jordan for their support and to Candice Camacho, Project Community Facilitator and collaborator. 

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