Brand new project Postcards From A Pandemic is already a massive success thanks to the numerous entries sent to Oxford’s Old Fire Station by artists from all over Oxfordshire.
“It’s like an artistic pen-pal scheme,” Megan Dawkins, Project Manager at OFS, explains. “Everyone sends us one artwork, and we send them someone else’s. Then they create an artwork which responds artistically to that.
“So we’ll have watercolour artists responding to poets, collage artists responding to oil-paintings.
So far everyone who’s responded has been from Oxford, so it’s giving us an amazing snapshot of the artistic talent here in the city.
“It’s also allowing us to stay connected to artists, volunteers, audience members and the people we work with who have experienced homelessness.”
So why this exhibition now? “We wanted to find a way to bring artists together during lockdown,” Megan adds: “There is so much activity online, and we wanted to do something a bit different.
“We thought there might be some interest, but we were blown away by the response – over 200 people signed up for the first wave!
“We’re now doing it in stages because of the sheer number of people involved.”
The first theme given was ‘a view from a window’, and the results conjure vivid impressions of artists under lockdown across Oxford. A protestor holds a placard aloft. A photographer looks at their own reflection in a window. A pair of washing-up gloves hang on a line. These pieces will all be sent out soon, and the responses will appear.
Participants don’t have to be professional artists to join in – there’s no screening process. All AOFS asks is that the artwork should be suitable for public consumption. The team is working through the growing waiting list, and plans to keep the project going for as long as there is demand for it.
To see the exhibition so far go to https://oldfirestation.org.uk/project/postcards-from-a-pandemic/
Interested? Sign up here: https://oldfirestation.org.uk/project/postcards-from-a-pandemic/
Arts at the Old Fire Station
The building may be closed, but the AOFS team are working remotely on creative projects like this one, supporting people facing tough times, and supporting the city of Oxford. They are working closely with Oxfordshire’s cultural organisations to find ways to support artists and audiences, and to plan for re-opening. If you want to support them, donate at the banner ad above.