Now the Leigh Art Trail has a 2021 date SEVEN looks back at losing and finding creative motivation over Lockdown. In a year without our key event to work towards what happened to our productivity when the 2020 Trail was cancelled?
The first thing SEVEN did when we formed was set ourselves a goal – we applied to show at Leigh Art Trail (LAT). As a creative sketchbook collective we were the first group to be accepted onto the popular Trail – yay! But we didn’t just enjoy sharing our sketchbook creations with interested Trailers. The yearly Trail gave us something to aim for (Kim made countdown calendars and everything!).
Then there was 2020…
Our Pre-Covid Plan
So, pre-Covid, every September we’d reconvene after the summer break, decide on a project and work steadfastly towards it. And September 2019 was no different. What was different, however, was our 2020 venue. We were excited to be moving to a more central LAT location, The Refill Room – a waste-free, eco-friendly grocery store.
Taking the store’s zero-waste ethos as our starting point we agreed altered books – aka books no-one wants anymore – would make the perfect art journal to work in. What’s more, we had a project title we could all get behind: Reclamation. (Check out this blog post for more on our plans for this altered book project…)
We were ready to art journal our way to LAT 2020! Until the Trail had to be cancelled due to a global pandemic that was.
The Pros + Cons of Zoom Creativity
Of course, Covid meant no in-person meet-ups, so along with the rest of the nation we got Zooming. Which, while better than nothing, meant we were often catching up rather than doing. Plus, there’s often something lost in translation online – a lagging wi-fi connection, screen fatigue, or just plain blahness, to name a few issues we experienced.
Ultimately, we lost our Reclamation art journaling thread. And, with no new date in sight, our altered books got put on the back burner.
Banana Bread + More
I mean, it’s not that we were just baking banana bread between then and now. We actually completed two SEVEN art journals, and started another:
- We got ultra local for the Estuary Festival with Metal Southend – read Juliet’s post on The Water Replies journal project here…
- We went (virtually) international by way of the Brooklyn Art Library in New York, which hosts the worldwide Sketchbook Project – see Jo’s post here…
- And, in January 2021 we began the virtual #52weeksartjournal challenge
But these had more imminent deadlines and so, inevitably, they’ve taken precedent.
Reclaiming Our 2020 Art Journals
Now we have a 2021 date for the Leigh Art Trail – September 2021! – we’re dusting off our altered books and reminding ourselves just where we were when we left off. Some of us were already immersed, others were just feeling their way into their creative flow, but all of us need to reclaim – call back, rediscover – our creative selves with regards to this SEVEN project.
Turns out Reclamation was a more apt project title than we had first imagined…
Check out our current projects over on our SEVEN Instagram .