We are now in the 9th week of lockdown. As this situation continues, the members are experiencing increasingly hard times. They are suffering profound depression, isolation, disintegration and flash backs. The anxiety that lockdown and corona provoke also activates past trauma.
We remain connected via the usual new digital methods, WhatsApp has proved very successful, as it is a visual platform for members to share art work made at home. We also share videos, messages and poems but there is a sadness that is felt through the wires. Sadness that comes with separation.
Creativity arrives at erratic times and in different ways. Paintings are made and shared in the small hours, when sleep eludes many of our members. Some members are too frightened to step outside. The world once again has become a terrifying place. The links that we maintain with the members are ever more pressing as lockdown and isolation continues. As well as our art practice, yoga lessons have also continued via Zoom. This has proved very helpful for staying focused and managing anxiety. We have also sent art parcels and cards to keep up members’ morale.
Each individual has their own lockdown situation. In the group we have a mother of a one year old, she is isolating in a studio flat with her mother and her baby. We even shared her son’s 1st birthday party on WhatsApp. She is terribly anxious for her son, mother and the future in general.
Lockdown certainly hits the most vulnerable the most. Our members depend on food banks and hand outs from various churches and charities to top up their NASS vouchers, but food banks are stretched and travel limited. This financial struggle only compounds the existing anxiety of lockdown. The physical absence has only strengthened our bonds, and we look forward to the time when we can meet in the physical world. The studio has been a significant place of meeting for these frightened and isolated refugees.
We still face the challenges of achieving financial security in these difficult economic times, and we ask our supporters for help to enable us to keep providing this essential lifeline. Please support us by donating today so we can continue to support our members.