Staying creative and connected during lockdown
Over the past two years Pause Practices across the UK have been working with local artists to create together, learn, inspire each other and build connections. The women we work alongside tell us that the arts can be an accessible way to express painful thoughts and emotions. Through their work, they create raw and powerful poetry, original writing, photography, films and have co-created other pieces including a symbolic jigsaw and mosaic.
In March, some of these items formed Our Journey Continued, Pause’s first-ever exhibition. It was attended by over 200 people, enabling these pieces of art to reach new audiences and encouraging even more women across the Pause network to get involved in local creative work. This spring we had planned to begin work with another five artists, across six Practices. Of course, the UK lockdown means these creative groups now can no longer meet in person…
“Arts + crafts allows you to enter your happy zone and have fun even when there’s a lockdown it’s even more helpful.”
Woman, Pause Greenwich
COVID-19 has challenged us to find new ways to stay creative and connected, whilst being physically distant. Speaking with women across the UK about how we could take creativity into their own homes, it was no surprise that craft kits were a popular idea and over 150 bespoke ‘Quarantine Quafts’ kits have already been made and sent directly to women across the UK.
Taking time out to focus on crafting can bring calming effects for both the brain and body. We are loving the feedback we are getting from women—and seeing the inspiration it is giving them to start other projects (look at those impressive shelves!). As well as this, we are bringing women together virtually through weekly yoga, film-making, bingo and a book club.
“Quarantine has been hard because I haven’t been able to do many things I would usually do […] I started doing the little quarantine crafts series because it makes it fun for other people to kind of take part too and makes light of a quite real and scary situation.”
Woman, Pause Northern Turst
We are living through a time of heightened global anxiety and, for all of us, there are days when we may not feel—or be able to be—creative. But, even on the least creative of days, I continue to be inspired by the women who work with Pause, their creativity, and their courage to try new things. The power of their work, which we will be sharing on Twitter over the course of this week using the hashtag #PauseCreates is a testament to this.
Roz Thomasoo is Knowledge & Evaluation Lead at Pause
We will be running a week of online and social content #PAUSECREATES this week to showcase the creative work women and practices have continued to create during the COVID-19 pandemic.
If you are a women working with Pause/who has worked with Pause in the past and you would like to get involved in our weekly activities please email Phoebe Green, Practitioner for Getting Involved and Next Steps.
Thank you to the women working with Pause who have shared their creative work with us. Special thanks to Emma of Our Creative Well for helping us reach women with resources for creativity at this time. Check out some of her work on Twitter.
If you have any questions or queries please email the Pause Communications team on firstname.lastname@example.org