Over the last three weeks I have been collaborating with Peshkar to deliver the online virtual art club #PeshkarSAHAC. You may think this sounds familiar as I wrote about it in my blog at the beginning of the month. I thought it would be nice to revisit the challenge and look at some work I have created for it.
The goal of the challenge was to create art away from screens. We spend far too time on our screens, especially tat the moment. A break form screens to me is always a well welcomed rest. For my eyes and my mind! I especially love creating art offline too. The chance to make a bit of mess and experiment with something tangible is always attractive. I wanted to try something new over the challenge too.
For the first prompt I really went for the idea of ‘playful’. The prompt word was ‘togetherness’ and I wanted to create something really outside of my usual work. I opted for a set of face paints and using my hand as a canvas. I created a little family of ghosts, who when viewed without the palm look separate, but are all part of the same appendidge. It reflected my feelings around relationships in lockdown. Feeling connected to your loved ones despite not seeing them for months.
The next prompt word was ‘home’ and again I thought a lot about lockdown! That never ending period of being ‘at home’. Still thinking about connections to loved ones far away I opted for a postcard. A little nod to the holidays we are all not having at the moment too! I created a vintage style postcard form my home. Greetings from my kitchen!
The final week’s prompt was ‘respect’ and this was a tough one to create for. I couldn’t choose. Did I want to create something for key workers? Did I want to create something in support of trans rights or the Black Lives Matter movement? I chose to create a portrait of an artist I respect whose progressive views were at the forefront of her career. Frida Kahlo. A revolutionary, artist of colour and a fighter for LGBT and feminist rights, I felt like she embodied all the things I wanted to portray. I wanted to use the last week to try a new technique too so I opted for a single line portrait of Frida.
July 6th marks the first day of this virtual art club. I am running the club in collaboration with Peshkar. Peshkar are an arts organisation based in Oldham. It developed as Peshkar are interested in looking at art activity in the time of COVID. The pandemic has change the landscape of working in the art world hugely. Everything has changed hugely. Artists are capturing it and exploring working in new ways. I was excited to apply for the chance to work with Peshkar on creating in a time of Covid.
I had the drawing club idea to help us to see our homes in a new way and stretch our creative muscles. We are desperately seek new surroundings right now. It’s ninsuorise that everyone is sick of their homes. We have never spent so much time within them. It doesn’t mean it is safe to do so though, so seeing our home surroundings in a new light is a safe way to experience a new environment.
With extra time on our hands taking creative risks and exploring new mediums is a great use of time to. Finally, I wanted to stipulate that the art needs to be taking offline. Between watching the entirety of Netflix’s catalogue and getting RSI through scrolling through feeds, being forced off line is a good thing. I also found a lot of relaxation in working offline on art projects. Giving my eyes a rest and steering clear from emails and notifications for a little while.
Over the first three weeks in July a prompt word will be released each Monday. Each prompt should form the basis of a theme for the challenge. Interpretation is up to you! Throughout the week I will be posting my response to the prompt word and sharing other people’s work too. To submit you just need to tag your post with the hashtag #PeshkarSAHAC or complete the google form in my instagram bio.
I am going to give you a sneak peek of the prompts here today. I’ve written prompts inspired by our time in lockdown. Week one on July 6th is ‘Togetherness’. Week two beginning July 13th is ‘Home’. The last week is the week beginning July 20th and the final prompt is ‘Respect’.
The project will only work if other people get involved too. So I’m really hoping that everyone reading this will. A lot of work has gone into it and it needs participants to work. Plus I truly think it’s beneficial for everyone. I love art challenges on instagram. They help me to practice my skill. They encourage me to create in new ways. All time well slept for a developing artist. I will endeavour to share as many submissions as I can, along with our friends at Peshkar too. Check @wearepeshkar and @sianellisartists from 6th July for details