Our Lockdown Art Exhibition took place after the first national lockdown in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and was designed to provide a safe space for people to exhibit the art they’d created during the lockdown period.
Taking place from August 8th to August 23rd 2020, we were able to welcome dozens of local artists as well as hundreds of visitors including VIPs such as the Mayor of High Wycombe and Patrick Hogan, the new Cabinet Member for Culture at Buckinghamshire Council.
As part pf our approach to COVID safety, we arranged for the artists to come in at staggered times to prevent overcrowding and to maintain social distancing.
Dan Wilson of Decreate, our resident artist, headed up the visual aspects of the exhibition, and he also brought in Carl Tilly of Tilly Photography to work on an official event video, which you can view in the player.
The exhibition also included a listening corner to showcase work by local writers, and we were able to premiere Signdance Collective’s Time Project in our Cafe Space.
Isolte Avila of Signdance Collective, who’s also on the board at Wycombe Arts Centre, explained, “It gave us an opportunity to share our work with the local community and we had comments like ‘I’ve never seen anything like that before’ and people watching the work through several times! We had artists visit virtually from the USA (New York and Miami), Wales, Austria, Cuba and England.”
Dane Cobain, our social media manager, filmed a behing the scenes tour of the event and shared a few of his favourites from the listening corner, including Yasmin Harris’ heartfelt pieces on trauma to Mervyn Cooke’s contributions that were grounded in Chinese and Irish literature.
We provided disposable headphone covers at the listening corner and also had a projector set up on the stage to screen digital pieces from national and international creators who weren’t able to exhibit physically.
Then there was L127, who does some incredible street art that wasn’t on sale because it’s destined to be displayed for free in local trails and wooded areas, and Victoria from Dread Falls Theatre who was hosting live puppet-making demonstrations. Juliet of The Tired Dressmaker was also on hand selling her hand-made face masks.
The Saturdays were also a lot of fun as we used them to pilot our Music in the Garden events, a series of outdoor, socially-distanced music events that have continued into 2021 and beyond. We were able to welcome a range of different performers to join our curated lineup and also hosted a special performance from our in-house jazz group.
But most of all, we were blown away by how supportive the wider community was, and we’d like to take this opportunity to say a big, big thank you to all of the artists who made the exhibition the success that it was.
Coming off the back of what had been a tough six months for everybody, we were delighted to be able to showcase such talent and to provide a safe space for people to come together in celebration of the arts.