Back in March, a few friends and Teddington neighbours embarked on a project to each make an original work of art every day for 30 days. This was in response to a cry for help from an older friend who had just moved to a remote part of the country on her own and was shielding; she was climbing the walls with boredom and needed a daily challenge to occupy her time and keep her motivated to get out of bed. Being a competitive type, she needed the discipline of not only being given a subject and deadline but also the chance of winning a prize.
We found a judge, agreed a set of rules for making and submitting each work electronically, and began. I honestly thought our enthusiasm would wane after a few days and the project would fizzle out, but I was wrong. Each day, all of us somehow found the inspiration to respond to the challenge. For the most part we made pictures, but there was also a cuddly toy, a tray of biscuits, a paper sculpture, a child’s mobile and a collage of leaves.
At the end of the challenge we put all our work in a book and made copies for our own entertainment; once lockdown was over we had a small exhibition in the garden to showcase our work. I am certain the project had a positive impact on each of us, promoting greater peace of mind and creating a distraction from the disturbing events around us, and I know there were many such initiatives happening all over the world. It is well known that making art can help provide a relief from stress, and having a daily deadline also provided a focus for days that, for many people, lacked structure and purpose at the time.
I’d love to hear about other groups in Teddington that did something similar.
So – are we doing it all again for this new lockdown? No… this time round we are writing limericks!