When we began to invite family carers to take part in a free Printmaking on Prescription course in November 2020, to help them recover from caring in Lockdown, none of us had any idea that we would face further lockdowns, or that the impact of the pandemic would continue to affect us all for another year.
Throughout the upheaval and turmoil of 2021, which for our group, included illness, hospitalisation and bereavement, disruption to carers services and the closure of day centres, we kept the courses going; but only five stalwarts, managed to complete their final pieces for public display.
Together Jenny, Gabi, Tina, Alyson and Siobhan created the Re-group exhibition.
They all agree that Printmaking has allowed them to reflect, reconsider and rejoice in their unique roles as family carers and they have told us that they found printmaking on prescription really helped them at a time of stress, to feel more confident as carers and more able to cope with the impact of the pandemic on their lives.
"This project helped me overcome my social anxiety. It was easy to connect with everybody because we all know how hard it is to look after somebody”
“Through the course we opened up, supported each other and found the way to express our feelings in our artwork."
Breakthrough Exhibition July 2021
This exhibition was at The Whistler Gallery in the Jerwood Dance House in Ipswich until the 27th July. It represented a Breakthrough for the artists who created it, as all of them learnt to express themselves through the medium of printmaking, in just 12 weeks, on our Press Ahead courses. All of them were also seeking a breakthrough in their efforts to find work and feel that learning a new skill and being able to put together an exhibition of such a high standard, will be the first step towards realising this goal.
It was scheduled to take place in March but due to coronavirus restrictions it was delayed to the summer. We are delighted to say that since creating the exhibition, four of the artists have since found a job or are applying for further education courses.