Our Creative Lockdown: The city’s creative response to the Covid-19 pandemic
14th October 2021
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Our Creative Lockdown brings together five exhibitions showcasing the people of Wolverhampton’s artistic responses to the Covid-19 pandemic.

 

Wolverhampton Art Gallery and Library Service, Wolverhampton Society of Artists, Changing Lives Charity, Still Lively and the City Council’s Music Service have all come together to share the artwork that was created during lockdown.

 

Visitors to the gallery will firstly view the annual exhibition by Wolverhampton Society of Artists. The group has been in existence since the early 20th century and during the pandemic have still been able to hold their meet-ups virtually so that artwork could be created as an escape and shown within this exhibition.

 

The second feature of this exhibition contains selected works from Wolverhampton Art Gallery and Library Service’s Art in Lockdown project where people based in Wolverhampton were invited to submit their creations. From 250 submissions seven artists have been selected, including Ed Isaacs, Kate Collins, Chloe Johnson, Avril Simpson, Alex Wright, Graham Everitt and Ewan Johnston, whose work will be on display and be included in the city’s collection for future generations.

 

Alongside the Art in Lockdown project will be a selection of pictures by young disabled people and their peers comprising a display entitled Your New Normal, My Normal. The artwork featured in this exhibition is the result of a social media campaign organised by the Changing Our Lives charity which invited young people to get creative and share their artworks exploring the issue of loneliness and what could arguably be seen as their normal.

 

Continuing through the exhibition, visitors will be presented with works created by Still Lively, a social drawing group for people aged 55+ that meets weekly at Wolverhampton Art Gallery. During lockdown, the group stayed connected by sharing weekly tasks, images of work, and supporting and encouraging each other.

 

Our Creative Lockdown finishes with a 45-minute film entitled The Music Plays On, put together by Wolverhampton Music Service. The City Council’s Music Service continued to reach out to children and young people across Wolverhampton during lockdown and instrumental lessons were delivered remotely from March 2020 until January 2021. In The Music Plays On children and young people share their widely varying musical experiences, through music and spoken word. The film captures authentic reflection on both challenges and successes, told from the perspective of parents, schools and Music Service teachers, as well as young musicians themselves.

 

City of Wolverhampton Council Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for City Economy, Councillor Stephen Simkins, said: “The pandemic affected people in many different ways with art and being creative acting as an escape that many people continued with or took up as a hobby for the first time.

 

“This exhibition is a fantastic way to show how people across the city and from different backgrounds dealt with the pandemic and I thank them all for getting involved with the exhibition and sharing their experiences with us.”

 

Chris, a member of the Still Lively group added: “Still Lively provided a continuous thread of creativity, inspiration and fellowship through the ups and downs of lockdown; much-appreciated light in the darkness.”

 

The exhibition is free and can be seen at Wolverhampton Art Gallery. For more information visit www.wolverhamptonart.org.uk.

 

Our Creative Lockdown:

Wolverhampton Society of Artists (16 October – 5 December 2021)

Art in Lockdown (16 October – 5 December 2021)

Your New Normal, My Normal (16 October – 5 December 2021)

Still Lively in Lockdown (16 October – 21 November 2021)

The Music Plays On (16 October – 21 November 2021)

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Ian Henery

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Award winning poet and playwright
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