Here at Lancaster Arts we are always reflecting on how we, together with artists, can best contribute to the times we live in. During the pandemic, we wanted to highlight the opportunity to take a pause, reflect and notice, look around us, say hello to those we don’t know, explore artistic practices and ask questions.
We came up with the idea of a programme called Breathing Space.
1. A sufficient buffer of time or space that allows for freedom of movement or relief from a given source of pressure or stress.
2. A pause to rest or to think over something.
We wanted Breathing Space to do two things: help people connect with each other and support the freelance artistic community in the northwest. This programme had four distinct parts, all led by questions, and took place from May to August, 2020.
This was a programme for everyone in different ways, including some directed towards artists, some for our volunteers and some for the students living on the campus at Lancaster University.
Breathing Space consisted of the following projects:
Walking/Moving/Seeing had three Lancaster-based artists from different arts disciplines responding to our one hour of daily exercise. These artists were: Louise Ann Wilson, Jenny Reeves and Darren Andrews.
Is There Anybody Out There? began with a call-out for artists from across Lancashire to re-consider their practice from a position of social isolation and prioritised proposals from D/deaf and disabled artists. Each creative enquiry specifically addressed how we can make connections with each other during social isolation.
Catalyst for Conversation was a series of four online workshops and discussions that took place from May to September, 2020. This was an opportunity for artists, industry experts and participants from across the world to exchange ideas and knowledge through topics of value to them all. Going Out, In was our final webinar in this series.
Making Frames Making Frames was a project that engaged with the students living on the campus of Lancaster University during the Covid 19 lockdown. Through the exploration of subjects such as connectivity, a series of short films were made. This was a collaborative project between artists Jonny Randle & Josh Cannon, the students and the Lancaster Arts team.
Illustration Credit: Lisa Lorenz