Anita C Preece - UK
Looking back, the last 14 months have been both sad and enlightening. The highs and lows associated with the pandemic on a National and personal level have been remarkable. The inspiration for my panel began in March 2020 when I started to teach Art and Textiles online. The dash to get equipment out to students while I swapped the classroom for the home office, or should I say kitchen table. On my daily walk I immediately noticed the reduction in traffic noise and the increase in birdsong. Taking part in the Thursday clapping took on a new importance, a chance to interact with neighbours culminating in a street party for VE Day, with bunting and pebbles painted with Union Jacks, and everyone in their front gardens with afternoon teas. I played “We’ll Meet Again” on the ukulele while the whole street sang along. I spent my spare time making wash bags for two local nurses. I decorated my window with rainbows and painted kindness cards for those shielding in the community. My bookclub went online, I played songs and read stories to my great niece on zoom and we had family fun quizzes on WhatsApp. Then came the sadness of someone close taken by COVID and the reality hit home. Watching a funeral on my phone was surreal. The garden became more important as having an outside space helped us to relax and unwind. These are all the events which have informed the thinking behind my panel.