Many of our regular audience will recognise Jilly Evans, a hugely important member of the Turner Sims team in her role as Box Office Manager. But did you know that Jilly is also a visual artist based at the Arches Studios in Southampton?
This summer found her knitting up a storm. SeaCity museum’s exhibition On the ball: Women Trailblazers, showcased the history of women’s football and celebrated Southampton being one of the nine host cities for the UEFA Women’s Euro 2022. Jilly was commissioned to go into local library knitting groups and run workshops, along with a footballer or two from Southampton’s 1970s women’s team. Attendees knitted their own version of a football scarf using one of the two knitting patterns Jilly had created as a basic template.
It was fascinating listening to the player’s experiences and those of the participants too. The many varied and wonderful scarves created as a result of the project made a fantastic display at the Hidden Wardrobe. We learned so much about women’s hidden histories, with a particular focus on football – Southampton has a history of women’s football that spans over 100 years.Jilly Evans
In November, Jilly began a Creative Mentoring Programme, delivered by the Southampton Cultural Education Partnership. The other artists accepted onto the programme include a poet, a photographer, a music producer, an actor/professional wrestler and a visual artist. The six-month programme, overseen by University of Southampton, will train and support these 6 artists to develop their mentoring skills, knowledge and experience. Once trained they will be able to mentor and inspire young people in Southampton, including those from at risk, marginalised backgrounds or those not in employment education or training to figure out what their goals are and how to achieve them.
If you have a moment, and are passing Turner Sims, pop along to the Box Office and have a chat with Jilly about any of her art projects or the creative mentoring programme.