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Covid-19: Art project a lightning bolt of inspiration for lockdown shielders

·2 min read

A new exhibition showcasing art submitted by people shielding from Covid-19 during the pandemic is set to tour the UK.

Art by Post: Of Home and Hope features 600 pieces made by clinically vulnerable or isolated members of the public during the pandemic.

Opening at London's Southbank Centre, it will later head to other areas such as Manchester and Sunderland.

Portraits of the artists with their work will also appear on billboards.

The project is intended to show the power of community art on health and wellbeing.

Portraits of the artists and their creations
Portraits of the artists and their creations will be displayed on billboards and at bus stops across the UK throughout September

Delivered in partnership with the National Academy for Social Prescribing, the project began as a way of helping those who were clinically vulnerable to the effects of Covid-19 or who were socially isolated, including people living in care homes.

More than 4,500 people engaged with creative tasks sent out in booklets, with the help of their families, friends, neighbours and carers.

'Lightning bolt of inspiration'

The cultural activities were intended to "ease isolation, loneliness and digital exclusion" for many people across the country, according to Alexandra Brierley, director of creative learning at the Southbank Centre.

The exhibition includes drawings, paintings and poetry - divided into themes around nature, sound and movement and hope.

One participant, 48-year-old Luke from Devon, told the BBC: "Art by Post has been a lightning bolt of inspiration and positive creativity to my senses, making me realise the sun sometimes shines brilliantly if you work for it."

The exhibition, which opens on Monday, will also appear online for those who cannot make it to the venues.

After leaving London in October, it will head to The Mill Arts Centre and Banbury Museum & Gallery in Oxfordshire, the Arts Centre Washington in Sunderland, and The Beaney House of Art & Knowledge in Canterbury, as well as Home in Manchester and De Montfort University in Leicester, before concluding in March 2022.

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