In this fourth chapter, ten more of our Home Work commissioned artists reflect on the impacts of the pandemic on our work, on our health, on our communities and the many ways in which we have responded.
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This week: Lizz Brady, Kate Bufton, Laura Kate Chapman, Emma Colbert, Stephanie Fry, M T Hall, Liam Jones, Michelle Richards, Adele Spiers and Year of the Rat Collective
Scroll down for videos, images, zines and more...
by Year of The Rat Collective
by Liam Jones
The process of making this work at first seemed like a simple one. These are people that I see most days of the week, and we joke that we see each other more than our families. Asking people to sit for a portrait, and finding the time to do so within a twelve hour shift when everyone is rushed off their feet, stressed, and anxious about the situation proved difficult though. It is because of this I began to go in on my days off, whilst people were having a break, and make quick pictures. I have also added scans of the documentation we have been using to monitor things such as PPE, resident’s temperatures, and protocols for visitors to the home.
Care zine by Liam Jones
by Emma Colbert
Responding to the theme of "care" I instantly wanted to make work around self-care, almost a reflective piece on my time in lockdown so far because my thinking was if I have been feeling these things how many other people have? I have always been open about talking about mental health living with anxiety myself since a teenager and naturally, Covid-19 brought my anxiety out in full swing. I created a small series of prints documenting some of my thoughts and gentle reminders which helped me get through the early days of lockdown with the hope that someone else may relate to them and find some form of comfort in them knowing they are not alone.
by M T Hall
Restoring the Waves is deep-listening sound piece by M T Hall, focusing in on slowing down and taking time for cognitive rest through experiencing the subtleties of sound. Using sonic elements such as binaural audio and found domestic sounds as a palette, the listener will be offered a grounding space for presence and restoration. Restoring the Waves was broadcast as part of the weekly Domes online radio show bidstonobservatory.org/radio.
by Kate Bufton
This book was created a few weeks into lockdown, it's a 7 page book to illustrate each day of the week. Each page contains ways in which I kept busy and motivated. As a new mum it was important as a family to have time together and ensure we continued as best we could with ‘normality’ and ‘routine’ for our little one.
All of the images and text have been sourced from old books in my studio, my practice has always focused on repurposing old book pages so I really enjoyed being able to take the time to find the right words and images that felt right for the pages. The book's construction enables each page to flow into the next, as most of the days have during lockdown. I have stained the pages with ink so that it becomes difficult to see them, this also highlights the difficulties and challenges I have faced personally throughout lockdown.
by Adele Spiers
My starting point was so to have a space to reflect on what my various caring roles mean for me, where I am emotionally after each experience or a day’s caring and creative responses to this.
As time progressed and I’d not made any creative responses, I realised that in reality by the end of each day I had no processing space left.
So, I began to mull over the impact of Zoom in my caring capacity, whilst wanting to reclaim and remake Zoom creatively. My 2 consecutive films are a product of that, exploring a day’s caring on Zoom.
by Laura-Kate Chapman
There has been so much worry for everyone during lockdown and I, like many others have found that writing and other creative tasks have helped me to process my thoughts, remain calm and work things through. We are all taking more time to care for ourselves and others during this time; we’re looking for ways to occupy our time and learning to think a little differently. I have linked these ideas together to create a short zine and a “creating characters” activity suitable for all ages. The zine has been a powerful way for me to process my thoughts and things I am learning during lockdown and also communicates ideas about self-care the upheaval of our day to day lives and how these ideas have changed and be readdressed during this difficult time.
Zine by Laura-Kate Chapman
Design Your Own Character activity sheet by Laura-Kate Chapman
by Lizz Brady
Self-care: The practice of taking action to preserve or improve one's own health.
This new video piece created for Heart of Glass, explores self-care during a time of crisis. I meditate, I sit with my cat, I take baths and naps, I listen to music. Yet there are dark undertones within everything I do. My depression creeps up on me and these caring techniques feel tainted.
I remember a lost love, she kissed him. I am falling again. I get soap in my eye. I wonder if I let my parents down. And I can’t shake the feeling that my self-care regime is just a trick to get applause.
by Michelle Richards
Goals and Motivation in the Midst of a Storm.
The lockdown created a pause in our routines which left a gap for a life review. I invited people to participate in an activity to share their life goals and motivations. They were asked to watch a short animation called ‘CARE’ which was produced with young people who were reflecting on experiences of navigating difficult changes. In the animation there is a ‘tree’ which protects hopes and dreams. A child is given words of encouragement as she strives to return to the tree after being swept away from it. https://www.artclinic.org.uk/care/
Participants were asked what dreams they would keep safe in the tree and what words of encouragement would help them to return to their goals if they felt as though they were swept away from them.
by Stephanie Fry
This booklet has been created as a response to the theme of Care, and as such, I have utilised the words, thoughts and responses of people from a wide variety of backgrounds as a catalyst for the creation of this work. In studying these words, I have created a series of visual responses in the form of photography, mixed media and illustration to reflect the sentiments which I feel are expressed in the words. There is a strong emphasis throughout the booklet on certain colours, tones and textures in an attempt to capture the feelings and moods expressed throughout the work. Care is very broad term and can mean so many things to different people, so I feel it is important to consider some of the themes attached to it, such as memory, reflection, emotion and contemplation. In creating this piece, I wanted to take a contemporary artistic approach to the design and layout combined with a deliberate ‘aged’ look to the overall appearance of the booklet - as if it were a time capsule which had been unearthed, containing a compendium of memories celebrating a shared, yet diverse, collective experience during these turbulent times.