Lockdown Plant Share

A creative activity developed for Suffolk Artlink, Make Do & Friends project: a programme of creative and social activities for Over 55s living in isolated and rural locations.

This activity invited people to creatively share what they noticed growing on their individual patch of earth in the first week of May. With the contributions I intended to produce an artwork sharing a wider view of Suffolk in bloom, a way of experiencing our landscape at a time when we have little freedom of movement.

I imagine a digital map with the images submitted transformed into digital collages imitating the shape of the villages on a traditional OS map. This approach proves frustrating, although I generally work between digital and analogue, the work I’m now producing feels flat and irrelevant.

Thinking about the material I’m working with, although its digital, it’s role is to create a sensory experience, an immersion into rural Suffolk.
I think about how I can physicalise this digital content and use Procreate app to place the artwork back into an outdoor environment. These images are brought to life with film editing and sound.
I’d like to explore this idea further, I feel the restrictions of lockdown working are highlighting something in the relationship between digital and the real world that I hadn’t properly understood before.

This relationship between digital and physical, in my mind, needs to be questioned in participatory work in a post lockdown.
How do we use online platforms, digital techniques and other forms of communication to engender the experience of working with an artist in a village hall in rural Suffolk. I, like many people, have sought the personal and local experiences online, gravitating to known groups. I wonder how we give an online space a real sense of ‘local’.