Anna and Emily created Pod Collective in 2012, enabling them to bring their unique skills of photography and embroidery together for projects in the Greater Manchester area.
Their work focuses on telling stories of individuals through an artistic medium. They both have worked in different situations with a variety of participants, including: people affected by homelessness; NEETS; ex offenders; elderly LGBT and people with disabilities. Their experience in working with people and looking at the everyday in someones life, and the world around them is the connection that brought their disciplines together.
Currently, they are working with refugees and asylum seekers, their work shares peoples experiences, showing human aspects of a label that often has negative connotations.
Anna has completed a Scholarship collaborating with Bolton Museum and University, working with the wider community, creating an archive of work, documenting peoples everyday lives. As well as doing a long term project with elderly LGBT people recording their hidden lives, as they hid their true identity when homosexually was illegal from families and loved ones. She has also carried out workshops with different community groups and completed a long term project with the elderly that has been widely exhibited including Tate Britain.
Emily uses art as a medium to tell stories, to represent the world around her and the groups she works with. This can be done through embroidery, drawing or crafts to create beautiful tactile images that are meaningful to the maker whilst resonating with the viewer. Emily focused on everyday objects while studying on Embroidery, in particular people’s experience of art when they have a visual impairment. This influenced her future work, as she then spent some years in a social enterprise making jewellery, paintings and ceramics with adults with learning disabilities and epilepsy. This led Emily to gain her PGDE where she taught art to community groups. She continued teaching, but in 2012 decided to apply for her first Arts Council Grant where she ran a project for people affected by homelessness in Manchester in collaboration with Becky Waite in Connecting Threads. Which has brought her to her second collaboration, with Anna in Pod Collective.