In early 2021, as England entered its third national lockdown, we collaborated with artist Benjamin Kay of Dizzy Ink and four local schools on a new creative project: Postcards from Lockdown.
Over February half term, students from Bluecoat Aspley Academy and The Nottingham Emmanuel School were challenged to take photographs inspired by their lockdown experiences. Dizzy Ink printed these images as special one-off postcards.
These postcards were then sent to students at Bluecoat Beechdale Academy and Bluecoat Wollaton Academy, who were invited to write short, creative responses to the photographs on the backs of the postcards.
This unique collection of creativity – the result of a collaboration between more than 65 young people in 4 different city schools in the Archway Learning Trust – is now being printed in a beautiful limited edition publication, for all of the participants to own.
Postcards from Lockdown images included parks, trees, plants, windows, skies, masks and screens. Written responses included haikus, acrostic poems and prose. Together they give a unique insight into the thoughts of young people in Nottingham, after more than a year of Covid-19. Postcards from Lockdown provides a glimpse into the minds of “a generation like none before”, as one poem puts it.
Artist Benjamin Kay, who co-runs Dizzy Ink (the specialist design, print and creative workshop studio based in Nottingham city centre) said:
“We came up with Postcards from Lockdown as a way of connecting people through photography and writing. We know how isolated young people have been feeling throughout the pandemic, so this was a fun, creative project to build new connections, via the post! I’ve been so impressed by all of the photographs and written responses – it’s been amazing.”
Martha Toogood, Arts Enrichment & Enhancement Co-ordinator at Archway Learning Trust added:
“Postcards from Lockdown is a unique opportunity to discover the thoughts, feelings and imaginations of students who have been the Lockdown generation. It showed me how creative, perceptive and thoughtful they are about the impact of the pandemic on their lives. This personal, collective record of lockdown will resonate with all those who contributed and all those who see them. A fantastic partnership between supportive teachers and expressive students, the artistry of Dizzy Ink and Young Creatives Nottingham. Thank you so much.”
This week (10-16 May 2021) we are sharing a few of the brilliant images and written responses via the Young Creatives Nottingham Instagram and Twitter.
Thank you very much to all of the students at Bluecoat Aspley Academy, Bluecoat Beechdale Academy, Bluecoat Wollaton Academy and The Nottingham Emmanuel School who took part.
Huge thanks as well to the teachers who made it happen - Grace Balchin, Clare Barnes, Lou Dee, Jess Highfield and Sinead Moynihan-Case - and to Martha Toogood who co-ordinated it.
Finally, we are very grateful to the Danielle Beccan Memorial Fund for their kind support of Young Creatives Nottingham, which helped to fund this project. Thank you.