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Alchemy Arts

Colours of COVID: Your Submissions

Colours of COVID is giving YOU the chance to showcase your creativity during a time like no other.

The Alchemy Arts project, supported by Arts Council England, gives people a platform to express themselves through their art, craft, music, poetry, dance or photography.

Colours of COVID is a ground-breaking and innovative programme which gives participants the opportunity to broaden their understanding of how creative expression can combat mental health problems and provide newfound resilience.

Show us your creative response to COVID-19, either by emailing ColoursOfCovid@alchemyarts.uk or tagging us in your work on Twitter and Instagram.

Take a look at the submissions so far:

Name: Ikra

At the start of the pandemic I’d find myself getting lost in the news, but over a course of time this changed and I was getting lost in my creativity with flowers. Flowers gave me something to focus on. Knowing that I was part of someone’s happiness whilst creating my arrangements was quite comforting during such an uncertain time. 

Name: Alicia

Dr Alicia J Rouverol, Research Associate at the University of Manchester, has shared a piece of creative writing outlining her experiences of the first COVID-19 lockdown. This was originally published in CicatriceIso-Poetics Issue, April 2020

Name: Shabana

Shabana calls herself a ‘scruffy sewer’. She has produced a variety of work and says it is not about the aesthetic of the product, but rather how it helps support her mental health.

Name: Amanda

A piece of work titled ‘The whole of the moon’ – an exploration of loneliness and homelessness using charcoal drawing. 

Name: Jo

I’ve always loved drawing and wanted to extend this further. In a world obsessed with what’s on the outside, I wanted to explore what underpins this. I’ve also lost family members just prior to the pandemic, and through my grief began to question who and what we are and where we fit in this universe. This piece allowed me to explore the very basic human elements of what we are – it also highlights our vulnerabilities too. The green represents the gowns that are worn by hospital staff. One of the reasons I explored the head on this particular image is because at the time, I was in lockdown, struggling with the isolation and wanting to explore my own mental health and what drives it from the very basic level. Detaching myself from my emotions and exploring the mechanics helped me cope with the isolation and had a positive impact on my way of thinking. 

Name: Elaine

At the beginning of the COVID lockdown, Elaine set up an initiative titled #art4thearts to try and help encourage local artists to paint something which could raise funds for their local theatre. If sold, 75% of the profit would be donated to their chosen theatre. Elaine has already raised almost £500 through her own work. She also produced a beautiful piece depicting NHS staff on the frontline as part of the nationwide Tom Croft initiative.

Name: Mike

Mike is a local artist born and bred in East Manchester. During the pandemic, he has started to pursue art as a career, producing many stunning and thought-provoking contemporary works. In this piece, he wanted to explore the beauty and drama which lies close to home. You can see more of Mike’s artwork HERE.

Name: Amir

I have been using music during the pandemic by playing for friends on Instagram and arranging music shows on ZOOM for friends, colleagues and families from all communities. I do a Zoom music show called The MTC show – Music, Tea and company. I do all of this voluntarily to try and keep people entertained and happy during these uncertain times.

Name: Louise

Louise produced an optical illusion using stippling, an artistic technique which she developed during the pandemic. Stippling is the creation of a pattern with varying degrees of shading by using small dots. What can you see?

Name: Khayra

This is a piece of artwork I produced called ‘My soil, my soul’. This is a reflection of being quarantined for so long that we crave to leave our ‘plant pots’. The idea comes from pot-bound roots; where a plant outgrows its artificial home. It begins to coil its roots around the body of the soil, with no knowledge of when it will ever be liberated someday, so in the meantime it patiently lives on.

Name: Qudsia

Qudsia has produced a beautiful piece of art, titled ‘2020: Year of Reflection’.

Name: Noor

“During quarantine, I travelled: through the power of art, I immersed myself in different worlds, finding out about places I probably would never dream of in real life. That was how my art helped me in the depths of lockdown. I ‘travelled’ to South Korea for 10 days — and the best part was, I didn’t even step outside.”

Find out more about Noor’s incredible artistic lockdown journey by clicking HERE.

Name: Lauren

“Drawing and designing has helped my mental health massively through lockdown, especially being on furlough in March! COVID-19 really enabled me to practise my skills and elevate my art.”

During December, Lauren sold some of her original artwork to raise money for the Adrian Derbyshire Foundation and the Julia Derbyshire Campaign, which provides support against suicide and self-harm in young people.

Name: Megan

“I have always loved drawing from a very young age and it has developed into a passion of mine. Throughout the past four years my art has brought me a lot of comfort, as I suffer myself with depression. My art has allowed me to concentrate on something positive – especially during lockdown.

“Since the first lockdown in March 2020, I have created digital drawings which are bright and colourful and turned them into postcard packs for people to buy and send out to loved ones that they weren’t able to see.

“When people place orders, it brings me so much joy to know that my art work is going to be shared and seen! During this second lockdown (now November 2020) I decided to make a festival Christmas postcard pack too. They are fun, colourful and jolly – which is what we all need right now!”

You can take a look at Megan’s range of arts and craft products developed during lockdown by visiting her Facebook or Instagram.

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