Arts Derbyshire

Artist profile

Amanda Haran

As an artist and citizen, I’m driven by a passionate curiosity for exploring the power of the little things and looking at these slowly and wholeheartedly. I’m a creative therapist, psychotherapist, and empath with a desire to start a kindness revolution (albeit relatively quietly and gently, using small words where possible). One small act of compassion at a time.

For me, creativity is a form of meditation. It lets me channel my emotions and feelings into my art, allowing the materials to respond organically. There are no mistakes in the creative process, just as there are no mistakes in life – everything has its unique purpose and beauty.

I have found that even the tiniest thing, whether a discarded object from the bin or a word, can invoke memory, emotion, and physical response. My work combines weaving, hand and machine embroidery with found and castoff treasures and repurposed items to create art that explores emotions or life events. I love collaborating and connecting and hope my enthusiasm for finding the creativity or beauty in the overlooked is shared.

Creative Genre

  • Collaborative community textile artist

Work Undertaken

  • Community Garden - built collaboratively a cross-community accessible raised bed art garden in response to local consultation and work with the Natural History Museum and their 'Dippy the Dinosaur' installation. Divided Selves - curated by Hammad Nasar MBE
  • this exhibition explored ideas of belonging and living together when the world is under tension. I led a collaborative flag-making project with four diverse community groups inspired by the works of Larry Achiampong which resulted in the development of a permanent community exhibition area in the gallery. Work On Walls - diverse artwork meticulously hand-drawn
  • painted
  • sprayed
  • or stuck onto the gallery's walls. It was enriched with community responses and installations that used the museum's collections for inspiration
  • making it truly unique. Coventry Open - celebrated the quality and diversity of art produced in the West Midlands region. As the community coordinator
  • I was committed to enhancing participation and diversity. I increased the typical number of submissions from around 500 to over 1
  • 000. I did this by developing a grassroots roadshow in community places and an easy-to-use guide to participation to encourage more to submit their work. Grown Up In Britain - celebrated a century of teenage life in the UK. It chronicled young people's experiences
  • culture and impact through photographs
  • objects and stories
  • exploring what unites across generations. I worked with Coventry and Warwickshire communities to discover photographic histories of growing up by organising capture roadshows around the region. Daniel Lismore - Be Yourself; Everyone Else Is Already Taken - I helped communities explore Daniel Lismore's unique journey through curated pieces. Activities included tours
  • sensory offerings
  • and a community ball. We also created life-size art mannequins reflecting Daniel's techniques and local concerns. The models toured the region in train stations and closed shop front stores. Turner Prize 2021 Legacy - Coventry Banner - I organized a community project in collaboration with Array Collective to create banners inspired by Turner Prize-winning creativity. Over 200 banners were made and installed at the entrance to the Herbert. The project was featured in a research piece and nominated for awards. We also held a social celebration launch during Mental Health Awareness Week. Twenty Years - an interactive installation that encouraged new and existing audiences to engage with the construction of contemporary art and socio-political debate as active participants. I ran community sessions around the region on behalf of Bennett & McDermott to generate initial cards to encourage participation in the gallery installation
  • and take it to those that could not attend. Turner Prize 2021 - for the first time
  • the Turner Prize came to Coventry and consisted entirely of artist collectives that tackled pressing issues in society. I ran exhibition tours reaching out to communities with which the Herbert needed to deepen its relationship
  • demystifying the exhibition's concepts. In addition
  • I collaborated with each nominee to bring their community collaborative programming to fruition
  • whether it be neurodivergent artists working live in the space; community discussion forums; an artist in residence from the community; supported trips to their studios; live interactive interventions with the public; and
  • sensory backpacks and an accessible easy read guide to the Turner 2021 developed with artist Anna Farley. Coventry Welcomes Festival
  • 2021 - supported Dr Seyedeh Naseriniaki (Founder of Chrysalis Craft Coventry CIC) with 'Lullabies from Coventry to Beirut' I helped to create and install a community art display in the shop window of Carriers of Hope
  • with migrant communities. Beneath The Trees Festival
  • 2021 - hosted by Coventry Arts Collective and part of #GreenFutures
  • I created a large recycled denim textile mural live in the event with passers-by. The Brightest Moon
  • 2021 - as the support artist to Ali Ravenhall of Imagineer
  • I helped construct a six-metre community woven moon installation to mark the opening of the Daimler Powerhouse. 'The Risers' - selected as one of ten artists to exhibit and be internationally promoted for COVert Arts
  • Fargo Village
  • 2021. 'Sew What?' - an Arts Council England-funded participatory slow mindful stitch embroidery project running between International Women's Day 2021 and Mental Health Awareness Week 2021. The focus was on developing self-soothing techniques in women from non-traditional stitch backgrounds. Over 100 women participated. Choose To Challenge Quilt And Coat - the second phase of the 'Sew What?' project
  • to spread authentic and supportive messages through quiet
  • creative
  • mindful
  • and collective means. Participants were encouraged to stitch wisdom concerning what they would tell their 16-year-old self. Over 50 women created reflective
  • mindfully stitched squares made into a banner (later developed into a coat to share at the 'Festival of Lights' in association with Foleshill Creates
  • and a Women's Convention hosted by Coventry Haven.) This banner was exhibited at the Festival of Quilts
  • Europe's most extensive patchwork and quilting event
  • in August 2023. This piece is now permanently displayed at the Marlene Reid Centre in Coalville. 'Walking Forest' - selected as an artist member and anchorwoman of a 10-year artwork exploring links with activism
  • natural forest networks and communities. This culminates in the planting of a new international woodland by 2028. We initially staged an intervention in Coventry city centre
  • which went on to culminate at COP26 in Glasgow. Sanctuary - Built To Burn. Designed To Heal - participated in 'Processions' as a support artist
  • and later became an Artichoke Heart to support community arts experiences. Through this
  • I got to work on 'Sanctuary'
  • a temporary structure built by the community to commemorate the nation's loss during COVID-19. Artichoke and American artist David Best collaborated with the locals to build an intricately carved wooden structure in Miners' Welfare Park
  • Bedworth. Sitting Rooms Of Culture - textile artist collaborator to their 'Settee of Culture' and new showcase area in Coventry Market. Welcome To Coventry - contributed a stitched piece as part of the Coventry train station welcome sign redesign and the opening of the new concourse (Coventry City of Culture
  • 2021.) Common Threads Project - stitched a piece that was videoed for New York (US) based Thanksgiving promotions of 2020 to raise money. I later went on to curate a selection of their story cloths as part of the international conference 'Preventing Sexual Violence In Conflict
  • ' in the City of Westminster. I am a supporter of this charity to help create pathways to healing. Archaeological Dig - with the University of Leicester
  • I offered my garden as a dig site as part of a village-wide archaeological dig with Bosworth Links. Test pit 48 was my garden.

Work in Education

  • King Edward VI College - artist in residence for a 6th form specialist college in Nuneaton
  • with a foundation art degree offering. I worked within the art department and college at large to promote and teach the use of art textiles as a means of expression
  • and to demonstrate the practices of a working artist. Member of Wellbeing Strategy Working Party to develop strategies and support staff mental health. I brought and managed the opportunity for the college to be part of Coventry City of Culture
  • 2021 through the co-curation of banners for the opening ceremony.



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