22 Apr Firstsite Colchester’s Art Is Where The Home Is initiative hailed a success
Art is where the home is – a ground-breaking initiative by Firstsite in Colchester to help keep children and young people entertained and engaged during the current coronavirus lockdown – is proving a huge success 2 weeks after being launched.
The gallery asked artists it has worked with in the past – including Antony Gormley, Jeremy Deller, Gillian Wearing, Michael Landy, Ryan Gander, Idris Khan and Annie Morris – to create a fun activity which fits onto on e piece of A4 paper and doesn’t require special equipment.
Combined, the activities create a downloadable activity pack which is available for free at www.firstsite.uk
The activities are for everyone – though particularly perfect for children and young people to do at home along with their parents and carers. They are designed to be fun, educational and bring people together through art and imagination at this difficult time. Everything in the pack follows the ethos of the acclaimed Firstsite Holiday Fun** programme.
Since it was launched on Friday 3 April over 20,000 packs have been downloaded, with many people – from as far afield as Spain and New Zealand – sharing their creations on social media using the hashtag #artiswherethehomeis and also in the Firstsite online studio – https://firstsite.uk/online-studio/
A second Art is where the home is pack is being launched on Friday 17 April featuring sewing and applique activity ideas from Sarah Lucas, how to create your own still life based on the colours of the rainbow from Cornelia Parker an d ideas to help create your own “Good News” newspaper from Gee Vaucher. More activities – including one from Grayson Perry – coming soon.
Sally Shaw, Firstsite Director says “It’s so important to exercise our imaginations (young, old and in between) as often as possible, and we didn’t want the lockdown to stop this from happening. The packs are designed to bring creative ideas from some of the best artists in the UK to everyone for free – helping families to tap into their creativity and imagination, connect with others and relax.
The response to our first pack has been so heart-warming, we had so many messages of thanks, and many wonderful artworks are starting to appear on social media, made by people from all across the country and beyond! It’s brilliant to see and hear how doing these activities are giving people a creative outlet and something positive and fun to focus on during what is a terribly difficult time.”
The powerful contribution the arts can make to our health and wellbeing is well documented, and that is why the NHS, local authorities & voluntary and community sectors have now got involved so that vulnerable people in Essex and Suffolk, who might not able to access a computer or printer can also get involved.
Ed Garratt, Chief Executive of Ipswich & East Suffolk CCG, North East Essex CCG & West Suffolk CCG, says “We are delighted to support Art is where the home is, and distribute this through the Suffolk and North East Essex Integrated Care System which incorporates the NHS, local authorities and voluntary and community sector. Together we will be able to deliver the packs to 10,000 vulnerable local people, so that they can take part in these fun activities and feel the benefits that art and creativity can bring.”