Our Previous Project
The Effects Of The Virus
This project started in July 2020 and completed on October 5th 2021. Its exhibition took place on Sunday 3rd October at the Hamworthy Liberal Hall and at the Eco Hub in Poole on the 4th and 5th of October 2021.
The last few months have changed much more than just our pace of life. We all have experienced the effects of the pandemic but we might have felt it on different levels and intensity. Mind My Art presented the participants/beneficiaries with the opportunity to tell their stories via creativity. For some of them to use it as a therapeutic tool to release feelings which they might have sensed they needed to open up to or let go.....and it was something to look forward to, like showing their artworks in a private and a public exhibition...and although we did welcome 14 amateur artists for this project, 10 of them displayed their artwork in the exhibition...and all the artists will be invited to the next project, developing a creative community within a bigger community.
All that was required from them was that they had:
1) no professional status in art.
2) from little to good creative skills (excellence is not the aim here)
3) the feeling this could be positive or even therapeutic for them
4) the willingness to express creatively what they felt or would have liked to feel
5) the understanding that the project is based on enjoyment and self-motivation and that there was no pressure on them to actually produce any art work
6) the understanding also that this project is about the importance of good emotional/mental health, the prevention of declining mental health and integration/inclusion in a creative way.
Please find below:
1) Photos from our exhibition .
2) feedback we received from our beneficiaries / participants and the exhibition visitors
Exhibition @ the Hamworthy Liberal Hall
Sunday 3rd October 2021
10am- 12pm private viewing for the artists only
12pm - 4pm public was welcome
I moved to Bournemouth 6 months before Lockdown, so I found it especially hard to integrate with the community as everything was closed. Retired on the second lockdown. However, I did go to a craft meeting, got a taster in Merino Wool. I ordered different colours.
This was the opportunity to start being creative. I found myself getting up at 04.00 in the morning to do my pictures. Thank God for the internet/knowledge.
Merino wool pictures
When being creative I lose myself in time. Idea’s pop into my head.
I fill my pictures with love.
Meditation + Prayers
Every day I meditate for guidance. This has helped me with my mental state of mind, coping living on my own. Talking to oneself is good – you always get the right answers. I rang family & friends to ask if they could ring me more often. Some did. Some didn’t.
I can’t express enough having Merino wool, being creative has been
a life saver.
Bless you all
Come & chat with me. You are most welcome
Spiritual Leader & Meditation Teacher
Love is endless
Love is kind
Love is all encompassing
Love is blind
Love the sun shining on my face.
Love the sun shining through the trees.
Love the sun, its beauty and grace.
I am that I am
My mask is my own skin. My guide is my intuition, My inner self represents itself from the out.
Cutting the strings of control, fear and panic
Plant in the stone:
The lockdown gave me more time to spend in my garden. To receive some messages from nature. To get the lesson from this plant which is growing through stones. A lesson in determination and persistence.
Covid was eye-opening for me to see the impact we make on the earth and other creatures.
Understanding our conflicts is the way to deal with them.
Me with the flow:
Covid taught me how to go in the flow. Not challenging the obstacles but turning around them.
It's important to understand how free we are. In times of chaos, we can choose how to think and react.
We can grow and move on when we disconnect from the limitations and restrictions that we face or create.
In a time of chaos, I play my own expression. Turn the dice to your favourite number, and then play your game.
The lockdown was like a rainy night for me, to enjoy the warmth of my studio, creating art and a journey that I enjoy living.
Turning thoughts into ideas, turning ideas into actions, turning actions into missions and striving to fulfil these missions. That is what I was doing in the lockdown.
A timeline of before to after COVID.
The weight represents me during the pandemic
During the first 2 confinements I was living with 2 people who had a different perspectives on the virus. One got very scared, constantly listening to the news. The other one was into conspiracy theories and online, at night, searching for always more info to reinforce his new belief.
I turned to even more meditation, creativity, DIY and living in my bubble, developing the charity and trying to remain as kind and grounded as I could.
We all came out of it in a good enough health and we have all gone on our own individual ways since. But for a little while "our forced clan" did encountered some uncomfortable tensions and ...some good laughter too.
My inspiration for the painting
Pushing through the invisible grid (acrylic on canvas)
I was inspired by a constant scene on my patio: an empty garden chair and no visitors. But the garden was blossoming as usual and some stems were crawling through the frame of the chair.
It then became a metaphor for me about the situation we were all in.
The flowers were all of us. The fine almost invisible grid represented the virus but also the restrictions we were all under. The frame represents the government trying hard to contain the situation with all the effects. Some of us stayed hidden with fear. Other pushed through the grid, not wanting to conform to the situation and others blossomed through it by adapting and turning it into their favour.
“Out there is a beautiful world. A world where we can take our dogs out for a walk and marvel at nature’s beauty.
Instead, we were locked in. Nostalgic of what feels to be out there, we will beat this pandemic as a nation, we will get to enjoy once again a beautiful world out there”
“It’s so unbelievable that in months life can change to something we all least expected, where to protect our loved ones will need us to be away from them instead of the norm of being around them”
I get that sinking feeling
Right down to my boots
As each day passes
And more and more
Of our shops, schools,
And general facilities
Lines of communication
Its becoming a ghost town
Where we are all advised to
So at home we just vegetate -
Or call 111
Before it’s too late!
This poem encapsulates some of the innate innocence of the 1970's and also some of the undercurrents present in academic life during that era but although its zeitgeist is from the past, it also lends itself to modern day political life, as many aspects of this have now come full circle.
Rocks are in my belly
And I'm listening as I study
So, where's this lecture gonna take us
Today, or in tomorrow's
Waiting stream of glory
On this bright sprung day
Beautiful people dance, jive and play
Around these rooms -
Clad in jeans, sequined blouses
And Egyptian jewellery
ALL THAT I AM
I...am the serial number
on my mobile phone
I am the passcode
on my computer
I am the list of numbers
that I cannot keep in my head
my mind is a mass of figures
and numbers and passwords
that I repeat in full, or in part
with neither sentiment nor meaning
endlessly down a phone line
My mother sadly passed away a few weeks before I painted this so she never had the opportunity to see my efforts and it makes me think of sad endings but also of new positive beginnings. Hopefully, we all can feel this way about the pandemic now that we have a vaccine
this young redwood tree from the New Forest for me promotes a feeling of awesome strength and power, which all of us have definitely needed during this dreadful Pandemic.
I used "Saturation" to bring the colours up bright and boldand hopefully render a more cheerfull mood in what have been difficult times for all of us.
A Burst of Blooms
I painted this in the 15 minutes or so I had left after labouring all morning on another painting at the Richmond Fellowship art group, one which had taken me much longer. It makes me think how quickly situations can develop or change, something which reflects the troubled times we all have been living through.
despite the lockdown restrictions I was lucky enough to get a break in Landudno during the pandemic. This beautiful bright dahlia was the very first sight that greeted me as we got to the hotel, upon disembarking from the coach. It instills in me a feeling of joy and contentement to think that despite adversity we can still have the opportunity to enjoy our time on Earth
My name is Berit and my hobbies are photography and art
The world in lockdown
Dreamy beach landscapes
The world in lockdown
(Watercolour, ink on Yupo paper)
Everything was quiet, no one was out anywhere. Shops and cafes closed.
An eerie feeling.
When the playground is closed.
Children and their animals are playing on a communal staircase while keeping social distance to each other.
My daughters dog wanting to go out and play with his dog friends, but my daughter was in self isolation after that she been informed by track and trace that she had been near a person with positive Covid test. She therefore only took him out on short walks.
Not easy to keep a cat in but after reading an article saying that both cat and dogs can spread Covid many people did.
Freedom Day, welcome back to London
(Iconic ink drawing)
We were all waiting for the Freedom Day. Whatever that means. The good thing is, TFL are still asking people to wear a mask on all public transport.
Berit's 2020 COVID photo diary
‘Childhood Winters memories’
LOOKING OUT AND STAYING IN!
Looking out and staying in;
From early morning the sirens begin.
As the virus spreads more and more die;
Another loved one, another goodbye.
Frontline workers doing their best;
Not knowing what’s happening or what’s coming next?
Mental health issues everywhere;
Feeling no one can help, or does anyone care?
The Elderly Care Sector is on its knees;
No one is listening, just ignoring their pleas.
Home-schooled kids...they need a friend;
Parents cry silently, asking when will it end?
‘Nothing lasts forever’ but there’s utter despair;
And many seek solace through the Lord’s prayer.
When normality returns, I’ll hug it and smile;
And say, ‘please stay forever, not just a while!’
David G Taylor
Giclée art print on Canson Aquarelle Rag paper
411mm x 547mm
The paranoia and loneliness I experienced around the COVID-19 pandemic brought back intrusive memories of the 1980s AIDS epidemic.
In my lockdown isolation, I thought of all the friends I’ve lost and the life partner I might well have had if a whole generation of beautiful men hadn’t been wiped out.
My image is inspired by an iconic punk Vivienne Westwood t-shirt I own, which features a Tom of Finland print of a flirtation between two well-hung naked cowboys. It depicts S&M Puppy Play, something that a small minority of modern gay men indulge in but which that lost generation never had the chance to experience.
Created using collage and drawing rather than by computer, it’s important to me that the process of making manually shows. It lends another dimension, offering a glimpse into my multiverse, a bit like seeing backstage through a clink in the curtain during a play.
David G Taylor
‘I Tell the Sea My Secrets’
Giclée art print on Canson Aquarelle Rag paper
406mm x 517mm
Lockdown was hard for me. I went from studying an MA in Creative Writing and Publishing at Bournemouth University with lots of students and things to do, to being completely alone all day in my small student flat.
To escape, I made art and would walk to Bournemouth’s deserted beach nearby to paddle in the waves for miles to Sandbanks in Poole and back, talking to the waves and fantasising of mythological sea creatures that might be listening just out of reach.
The title comes from a poem I wrote during lockdown that begins ‘I Tell the Sea My Secrets...’
My name is Denise Ciantar
I attended and was taught to paint with acrylics at Malta School of Art.
I love unlocking my creative side and discovery what I can do with a paintbrush!
Although the lockdown was, without a doubt, a terrible time for everyone, I sought enjoyment through reflection, appreciation, reminiscence and creativity.
However, unquestionably, there were feelings of confusion, fear, helplessness, anger and despair.
During the winter, my heartfelt thoughts went out to our lockdown kids, which set me thinking about my own childhood, and inspired me to paint ‘Childhood Winters.’
Shop lockdowns set me thinking about the hustle and bustle of the January sales, back in the day, and shops that are no longer with us.
I believe my canvas painting speaks for itself,
‘Looking out and Staying in.’
Anyway, we all have our own way of dealing with things. Personally I wanted to survive, remain strong for my family and despite the fact it wasn’t easy and still isn’t, try to be optimistic.
Feedback from the artists
On the scale of 0 to 10. How satisfied in general are you about the whole experience so far? (0 being not so good and 10 being very satisfied)
2. On the scale of 0 to 10 again, and taking in consideration your own reasons for taking part in this project, do you feel you have achieved your objectives? (0 being not really and 10 yes fully achieved)
3. Any comments?
Looking forward to next project…I can only improve
I liked the private viewing and meeting other creatives
I liked the public exhibition and watch people and listen to critique
4. Which stage has been the most rewarding for you?
A) The initial development B) The private viewing C) The public exhibition
5.Would you like to participate in the next project?
everyone except one who is not sure yet
6. How can we improve the service?
Hopefully things will change now we are out of lockdown.
More info online and in person
You can’t. It was perfect
Info could be more concise
Perhaps some music
How did you know the exhibition was on?
Through word of mouth: I saw the notice board outside; family invite. By a Friend; from Nathalie; through the library notice board; from my mum; family; Nathalie; my wife told me; my mum told me; my wife told me; Nathalie, a relative; my husband was aware of the exhibition
What is your impression about the project and exhibition?
Very good; very interesting; varied and thought provoking; brilliant; it is okay. It would be nice if the exhibition took place in a more public place; very friendly, nice to see different mediums; very nice; lots of varieties; high quality art; Worthwhile project; great idea, nicely laid out and everyone was super friendly; the colours; impressive; nice to see everyone’s pictures and the different styles. Fantastic creative opportunity for real expression. I felt welcome; valuable experience for artists to express their feelings
Any feedback about the artworks you would like to leave for the amateur artists to read?
Refreshing to see original work from very talented people; keep up the amazing work; keep being creative.
For Fiona Field: “Redwood” very good; for Gilly: love the work; Berit: I like the cat; I like the use of bright colours and different mediums; love the large variety of different subjects.
Impressive; we love the winter paintings from Denice Ciantor; my mum’s painting (Serena).
For Selma Adi: love the face/ skull picture.
Varied. Thought provoking. love the stories. Vibrant. Engaging and real.
Denise Ciantor, childhood winter memories, shopping memories and “staying in &looking out”
Fabulous; I enjoyed all in different ways- - but Salma Adi’s are terrific
Would you like to see similar projects in the future?
5) Would you like to be involved in our next project or know somebody who could benefit from this kind of project?
Yes= 7; May be = 2; Will pass on the details to somebody I know=3; Wish to be invited to next exhibition= 1