Last year I was invited to be an artist in residence with Suffolk libraries arts programme in March. Due to COVID-19 that did not happen. It IS happening next week 1st February 2021 ONLINE.
I feel that I cannot ignore the pandemic in my work, it has changed so many things in so many ways. It seems, to me, that women have taken the main strain of the effects of the virus, trying to keep the household together, home schooling and caring whilst trying, in many cases, to work from home or keep employment going. There appears to be inequality for women and younger people, for instance losing jobs, particularly in hospitality.
I have been thinking about some of the things that I have changed, especially as a woman, over the last few months. One thing, for me is I have finally cast off the underwire bra. From the beginning of lockdown, I wore loose clothing with no pressure to dress to go out of the house. In a period of restriction with less control in our lives what we wear and do not wear is one choice we can make. Rejecting the underwire bra, for me, is liberating and much more comfortable.
For the residency, I decided that I would focus on a community involvement project that would give people a chance to express their lockdown feelings through a creative, interactive online community. This would initially be towards showing participants results in a virtual art installation. The library arts programme is hoping that the installation can be shown later in the year in shop fronts in central Lowestoft and possibly other libraries in Suffolk.
During the week-long residency I shall be making my own embellished bras including my own stories in them, responding to others who are doing theirs and participating in virtual meetings held by the BLOC Lab. I will continue the online groups beyond this. I hope to organise small group workshops via Zoom so people can ‘meet’ and share. Read below for details of the project if you would like to participate.
CREATE. CHAT. SHARE. BE PART OF AN ART INSTALLATION
How is lockdown for YOU? Get it all off your chest… your frustrations, trauma, unexpected and joyous happenings and hide your secrets in an embellished bra.
I have been inspired to pay homage to my discarded bras by decorating them and hiding inside secret messages about some of my experiences of lockdown. Would you like to do something similar? Decorate them in whatever way you like, incorporating your stories inside, then share your photos on Facebook Covid Get It Off Your Chest | Facebook OR felicity borwick (@covidgetitoffyourchest) • Instagram photos and videos (or message me if you don’t use social media) to inspire others.
Your words and creations will become part of a community artwork for an online and (hopefully) physical exhibition.
Be inspired, inspire others, and start conversations through our online community.
Everyone is welcome, no experience is needed, just let your imagination flow.
In conjunction with Suffolk libraries arts programme Our arts programme: BLOC (Building Libraries on Creativity) | Suffolk Libraries