Warwickshire County Council’s Public Health service has commissioned local art group Arts Uplift to deliver three contemporary art exhibitions across the county called Warwickshire Pandemic Stories.
Each exhibition is designed by a different artist to capture the experiences of local residents and organisations of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The three exhibition artists, Creative Solutions, Julia Snowdin and Michelle Flint, carried out arts workshops and interviews during the summer months to understand different pandemic experiences from a wide variety of local people. These interviews featured new parents, older people, those medically vulnerable to COVID-19, volunteers, young adults, Public Health and NHS workers, children, and people from broad cultural backgrounds. They covered a wide geographical area across Warwickshire including Stratford-on-Avon District, Warwick, Leamington Spa, Rugby, Nuneaton, Bedworth and Atherstone.
The first Warwickshire Pandemic Stories exhibition by artist Creative Solutions features audio and a bright 3D installation, and will be open at Warwick Visitor Centre from 10 November 2021 until 16 January 2022. Michelle Flint’s colourful contemporary wall hanging ‘My Lockdown Story’ will be seen at the former Debenhams site at Bell Court in Stratford-upon-Avon from 11 November 2021 to 4 January 2022, with Julia Snowdin’s circular light installation due to launch afterwards from 20 January to 31 March 2022 in Bedworth.
Cllr Margaret Bell, portfolio holder for Adult Social Care and Health, said:
“I’m so pleased to see the creative outputs involved in the Warwickshire Pandemic Stories exhibitions, and through this project you can really feel a sense of place and community as we are all coming to terms with the enormity of the pandemic-related journeys and emotions we have all experienced.
“Thank you to all those who took part in the interviews and workshops, and to Arts Uplift for leading the project as another great opportunity for Warwickshire’s residents to feel safe, well, and connected.”
Jenny Davis, Director at Arts Uplift, added:
“We are very excited to share these new contemporary art installations with the public. Having listened to some of the interviews there are some fascinating stories to listen to both sad and joyful and we are looking forward to seeing how the artists have interpreted these stories through art. It is very important to honour and mark these most difficult times that we have all lived through.”
Arts Uplift are also encouraging residents to share their views and find out more about the exhibitions on the Warwickshire Pandemic Stories Facebook page (@WarwickshireArtStories) and Instagram page (@warwickshire_art_stories) online. Several resident stories gathered as part of the project are also available to listen to in full on the Arts Uplift website www.artsuplift.co.uk or by visiting the Warwickshire Museums Archive.
To find out more about the Warwickshire Pandemic Stories exhibitions, contact Jenny Davis by email at Jenny@artsuplift.co.uk, by phone on 07946 585978, or visit www.artsuplift.co.uk/warwickshire-pandemic-stories/