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Arts Gateway recognises mother and daughter virtual art club in lockdown


Each month we are selecting one of the contributors to the Changed World Art Zone who is a shining example of the excellent art and art projects we have seen inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic.

This month it is Wendy Thompson, who told us about the virtual art club she started with her mum Beryl to overcome separation during lockdown and to help maintain meaningful contact.

Wendy explained: ““Beryl is my mum. She is 85, has advanced dementia and is bedbound as both hips are permanently dislocated. She lives in a nursing home and I’ve not seen her in person since 23 March when lockdown started. She can’t hold a conversation when we Skype, but at least I can see her and she can see me. But it’s not the same as holding hands, which we do during most visits. A few weeks ago, I was showing her my lockdown paintings on Skype and suggested mum watched Grayson’s Art Club. The home’s activities coordinator asked whether we could try having a virtual art club session via Skype, where Mum and I both paint a picture within a set hour to a set theme. We’ve had 6 sessions now and these are the paintings Mum has done. I LOVE them  What’s amazing is that Mum has never been artistic in her life. But more importantly, during the hour she is totally focused, engaged, absorbed. We talk about what we’re doing, the colours we’re choosing, how we’re applying the paint. She has a conversation with me and is clearly proud of her achievement. Through our art we can enjoy the moment and rock the lockdown together!

Arts Gateway has selected Wendy and Beryl’s work because it clearly struck a chord with a lot of people, and shows the power of art in aiding communication and wellbeing.

In recognition of this achievement, Arts Gateway will be making a donation to charity of Wendy’s choice – Dementia UK which has been offering support to people living with dementia and their families during lockdown.

See more art inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic in the Changed World Art Zone. In this group we welcome posts from professional artists and amateur artists – you may post your own work or that of someone you know (with their permission) or art you have seen online.

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