Arts Uplift CIC have been commissioned by Warwickshire County Council to deliver 3 exhibitions and related engagement activities from 3 artists with different approaches and disciplines that will tell stories of the pandemic, so far, from the point of view of new mothers, NHS frontline staff, those who shielded, older people, neighbourhood communities & ethnically diverse communities from across Warwickshire, displayed in 6 Towns. Arts Uplift  will reach out to participants from the wider Warwickshire community across all age groups & generations. Each strand will be structured by the artist and infilled organically by participants, enabling the final exhibitions to be relevant, give a sense of place & community, and a visual display of shared experiences & emotions. The commissioned artists are Julia Snowdin, Creative Solutions and Michelle Flint.

If you would like to know more about the project then contact 07946 585978

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Watch a short video about the project HERE 

Listen to some of the interviews in full HERE

Photos by David Grange, Creative Solutions

Exhibition for Leamington and Rugby commissioned artists Creative Solutions, Jacqui and David Grange

The interviews
David interviewed people from NHS frontline staff, people that were shielding, older people and people from Black or Asian communities. They brought in an object that represents the pandemic for them that will stimulated conversation. These conversations were filmed and he took a studio photo of the person as well as audio recordings. These will be archived for the Warwickshire museums collections. The Interviews took place in July and August 2021.

The exhibition
Jacqui will then use those stories gathered and interpret them in to a 3d art installation approximately 75cm wide. The installation will use text & images based on the stories gathered along with sound. The final artwork will be based on the stories gathered, and is likely to include powerful text statements from people’s testimonies and a combination of drawn and photographed elements, in 3D format. The artists will print onto diebond/transparent signwriters vinyl onto transparent polycarbonate – to create high quality professional/non fade images.

The Exhibition piece will likely be an immersive, colourful experience for audiences, reflecting the powerful image from lockdown of the “Rainbow”, displayed at Warwick Tourist Information Centre and Rugby Library, with audiences able to comment on the exhibition through a Comment Book & Social Media Channels.

The installation will be shown in Warwick from 9th November 2021 to mid January 2022 and then in Rugby from mid January 2022 to end of March 2022. Click HERE to see a short video of it.

Exhibitions for Atherstone and Bedworth commissioned artist Julia Snowdin

The workshops
The workshops took place with community groups that engage with new mums. Julia ran two workshops, one in Atherstone and one in Bedworth to engage with different communities. This was to see if the experience differed for different groups. In the workshops the mums were invited to freely chat about their experience, Julia facilitated this and was able emphasise with them as she had her own baby in January 2021. The conservations were recorded with the help of Warwickshire museum staff and she is writing blogs about the process. To create a relaxed atmosphere, she led some simple circular drawing and painting activities. For the activity she asked the mums to think about themselves as a circle and the ‘village’ they have or haven’t had supporting them over the last year and how this felt. These paintings and drawings have influenced how the circular forms are laid out in the installation. The paintings and drawings will be added to the museum archive.

The workshops took place during July and August 2021 with TotsClubHouse in Atherstone and Bedworth Children’s Centre in groups of up to 10 to make them as safe as possible. She provided each participant with their own equipment to work with to stop cross contamination.

Read Julia’s blog HERE about the workshops

The exhibition

‘It takes a village to raise a baby’. During the pandemic women have being having babies on their own without a village to support them. There are some positives to this, in the first few weeks families have been able to bond on their own without a flurry of visitors. There are definitely negatives too, when it gets too much friends and family can’t come into your home to help. Julia wants to explore the experience of having a baby during Covid-19 and really focusing on the saying ‘it takes a village to raise a baby’ and how this has affected families both positively and negativing and then make an artwork in response to this.

The artwork will be a hanging light installation that will be showed in empty shops, in the town centres of Atherstone and Bedworth. The installation will be made from circular forms to represent the mums and their new families. The circles will be connected to further circular forms, the amount each circle is attached to will differ depending on the amount of connections that the mum has had. The colours of each form will be either a positive coloured light (yellow) to depict a positive experience or a negative coloured (red) to show a negative experience.

During the winter months the installation will create a playful, warming visual in the town centre’s for visitors to admire and to think about the experience that new mothers have had during the pandemic. The installation will be shown in the town centre’s that the workshops took place. It will be installed in empty shops so it can be viewed with social distancing.

The installation will be at Bedworth Civic Hall from 25 November 2021 to 20 January 2022 and then in an empty shop in Atherstone until the end of March. Click HERE to see a short video of the installation.

Read Julia’s blog  HERE about the design processes

Exhibitions for Stratford Upon Avon and Nuneaton commissioned artist Michelle Flint

The Workshops
Michelle has delivered 6 x 2hr workshops (3 in Stratford and 3 in the Nuneaton area) for communities that have been shielding, children and young people, volunteers and also from culturally diverse communities . Participants in the workshops have been asked to share their experiences and stories of lockdown and through the pandemic and express those on to paper through embroidery, mono printing, painting and collage. These artworks haven then been photographed and incorporated into the design. The original artwork will be created into a concertina type book. Participants were also  asked to bring along an object which represented the pandemic to them. Workshops took place in July and August 2021 with Escape Arts Stratford and Nuneaton, Graham Adams Centre, Linking Futures Project and Nuneaton Mosque elders group.

The exhibition
In response to the discussions and works created during workshops, 1 exhibition of a large embroidered textile wall hanging 3m x 1.5m will be displayed in the windows of vacant retail units in Stratford-upon-Avon & Nuneaton. The artwork will feature a scene from the towns where the activities are based, themes discussed in the workshops will create artworks which will be incorporated throughout the design with fabric pockets designed for letters or artefacts (or photos of them) placed in them.

The original artwork will also be printed onto two vinyl banners, to preserve the art work for an Outdoor Display. The exhibition will be displayed November 2021 to 5 January 2022 in the old H & M shop near Debenhams at Bell Court, Stratford Upon Avon and mid January 2022 to end of March 2022 in a Nuneaton empty shop. Click HERE to see a short video about it.

Drawing by 18 year old Chloe


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