Jackie Eksi

Photo of Jackie Eksi

Jackie is an artist and First Class Fine Art graduate from Southampton Solent University. She has been involved from the start, contributing to research, curation and event planning activities for the pop-up museum. She also co-delivered workshops in schools and ignited children’s enthusiasm for art. Her distinctive drawings of workers’ memories have been incorporated into the exhibition, and some were reproduced as a limited edition set of postcards and prints for sale in the pop-up shop.

I volunteered a year ago for the TRANSITion Project. At first I joined because I had enjoyed working with the project manager on a previous project while at Solent University doing a fine arts degree and wanted to find further outlets for my art skills. Also, I had a personal connection with Fords as I worked there in the canteen for a couple of years when I was 19 and newly married. This meant I had a few stories to contribute to the recorded interviews for the project. It then occurred to me that my story telling would be greatly enhanced if I drew a few illustrations to go along with the stories and these were warmly appreciated by the project team.

As time went on, going on research trips to local archive offices and museums, I was inspired to continue drawing. Curation meetings, local interview sessions and museum visits were all subject materials for more art works. When ex-Ford workers told their stories at curation meetings, their descriptions inspired me to imagine them at work – taking ideas of settings and machinery from photos shared by them. I was also lucky enough to be offered an enterprise training course to help me take my skills and what I was learning along the way into transferable business skills, as a self-employed artist.

What it has meant for me is an increased confidence in my art skills, in talking to others in the professional sphere, and in knowing how to build a supportive network from the contacts I’ve made. As well as this, I’ve learned technical computer skills such as setting up blog posts, transferring documents via emails and making a PowerPoint presentation to an audience.

Jackie Eksi