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

Exhibition for Leamington and Rugby commissioned by 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 to include light, projection and 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 from 9th November 2021 to mid January 2022 and then in a second location from mid January 2022 to end of March 2022.

Exhibitions for Atherstone and Bedworth commissioned by Julia Snowdin

The workshops
The workshops will take place with community groups that engage with new mums. Julia will run two workshops, one in Atherstone and one in Bedworth to engage with different diversities. This is to see if the experience has differed for different groups. In the workshops the mums will be invited to freely chat about their experience, Julia will facilitate this and be able emphasise with them as she had her own baby in January 2021. The conservations will be recorded with the help of Warwickshire museum staff and she will write a blog after the workshops for the museum archive. To create a relaxed atmosphere, she will lead some simple circular drawing and painting activities. For the activity she will ask 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 has felt. These paintings and drawings will influence how the circular forms are laid out in the installation. The paintings and drawings can be added to the museum archive.

The workshops will take place during July and August 2021 in a group of up to 10 to make them as safe as possible during the pandemic. She will provide each participant with their own equipment to work with to stop cross contamination. She will set the space up to allow for social distancing. She will do a full Covid-19 risk assessment that follows the government guidelines for both the workshops.

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 outside, 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. The installation will be installed high up, out of reach of the audience. It will be installed outside in an open space so it can be viewed with social distancing.

Picture by Julia Snowdin to give an example of what the exhibition might look like

Exhibitions for Stratford Upon Avon and Nuneaton commissioned by Michelle Flint

The Workshops
Michelle will deliver 6 x 2hr workshops (3 in Stratford and 3 in the Nuneaton area) for communities that have been using the Stratford and Nuneaton foodbank and also from culturally diverse communities . Participants in the workshops will be asked to share their experiences and stories of lockdown and through the pandemic and express those on to paper through mono printing, painting and collage. These artworks will then be photographed and incorporated into the design. The original artwork will be created into a concertina type book. Participants will also be asked to bring along an object which represents the pandemic to them. Workshops will take place in July and August 2021. No experience is necessary.

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. They can be hung from trees in parks or displayed on street advertising boards. The exhibition will either be displayed November 2021 to mid January 2022 or mid January 2022 to end of March 2022.

Pictures by Michelle Flint to give an example of the type of exhibition it will be