Art and social isolation: Southampton responds
What unusual times we are in. Coronavirus has changed our lives, and we’re now in lock down. People are worried what the next few months will bring for our loved ones, the NHS and our communities.
In order to keep spirits up and develop new ways of coping with social isolation, we thought we’d share some of the positive art-based initiatives from Southampton.
Read on to hear about initiatives from Zoielogic Dance Theatre, Greg Gilbert, Claudia Friend, Donna Mcghie, Cat Eliza T and Vie Portland.
Zoielogic’s online dance rehearsals
Last week, Zoielogic Dance Theatre put on their first ever virtual dance rehearsal for Fuzzy, their male youth dance group. Using the online meeting tool Zoom, they were all able to see each other dance whilst tuning in from their front rooms.
Online art workshops and tutoring
Artist educators are looking at providing online tutoring. Donna Mcghie from Art and Murals has started blogs to show how to do powertex projects.
Powertex is a fabric hardener and can be used to make 3D objects, jewellery, paintings and more. Donna will be focusing on really easy projects that don't take up too much space, or make too much mess. That said, she has had a request for a highland cow, so watch this space if you fancy a bit of large scale sculpture too! Here is Donna’s first blog: Simple Step by Step Powertex Project - Art and Murals
Virtual art galleries
Gods House Tower has launched a virtual tour for their new exhibition by Laura Eldret & Paul Vivian “Those Who Look Out & Those Who Look Back” . Have a little tour here from the comfort of your armchair or bed. Galleries like Solent Showcase are exploring how to move their content online too.
Storytime, with Vie Storytime sessions for the under 8s are being offered by Vie from Vieness, a body confidence social enterprise. The stories will be via website Zoom, which means that everyone can chat too. Head over the VieNess’ Facebook page for more details.
Bugger Off It’s Bedtime Whilst musician Cat Eliza T is normally found gigging around Southampton, she’s reinvented herself as a bedtime storyteller. Every night at 7.30pm Cat will be reading Roald Dhal’s The Witches through a Facebook live event Bugger Off Its Bedtime.
Greg Gilbert draws
And its not just about what we can do collaboratively. People are also taking the time to use art for personal reflection.
Greg Gilbert is a Southampton artist who speaks openly about living with cancer. He is now self isolating with his family, to protect them all from the coronavirus. He explains how important drawing is to him:
Just over 3 years ago I was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. My visual practice to that point had been concerned with realist biro drawings and an engagement with old photographs, newspaper cuttings etc. But the diagnosis seemed to unlock a separate stream of imagery, one articulating the anxiety and fears of my new situation albeit through surreal and unconventional scenes. The drawing here is a work in progress that continues and expands this sequence, says Greg Gilbert
You can find out more about Greg’s work on Instagram @greggilbert-artist
Choirs and singers are exploring virtual ways of connecting with music. For example, Delicious Sounds Choir, led by Fiona Funnell, is offering her choir members videos of vocal warm ups and songs to sing together from the comfort of our own homes.
Drop Me A Line
Artist Claudia Friend is helping everyone make something together! Make a line – draw, scribble, sculpt, build, fold, paint, create or find a line – just one - curved, colourful, straight, loopy, dotted, thick, thin…get creative!
Send the pic to Claudia on Instragram, Facebook or email email@example.com including your name, location (e.g. Hampshire), Instagram tag…and anything else you’d like to say. Let’s see how far it can reach. Let’s make something together.
Online sessions from across the world
Check out the facebook group Quarantined Art/Music Revolution, helping to connect people from across the world, and livestreaming art and yoga sessions
What else have you heard about?
Know of other great ideas where art is helping with isolation and health? Tag us in social media so we can tell others:
We're all about the connections between arts, creativity, health and wellbeing.
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Keep safe everyone x
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