CultureForget about Covid, choose art.

Forget about Covid, choose art.

ArtHouse Jersey has announced the launch of ‘Skipton Forget Me Knots’, a large scale community project that employs creativity to help young people process and navigate their emotional journey during COVID19. Culminating in a ‘breathtaking centralised installation made up of thousands of flowers’, they are calling upon the Jersey public to reflect on their own experience as we collectively come to terms with pandemic’s fallout.

The project has been designed by art therapist and teacher Jacque Rutter and will be facilitated by local artists. The final installation will be overseen by a leading international artist, who will be announced in due course. Young people have been living through a very difficult and confusing period as they experience isolation, a complete change of routine, a loss of connections, huge uncertainty and a feeling of being overwhelmed with the challenges lying ahead for them. As they begin to return to school, their teachers will be helping them to explore and process these sentiments: this project will assist them in fulfilling this important function.

Children will take part in specially facilitated workshops that will see them creating paper flowers while being guided by expert facilitators to explore their experiences and the emotions these might have evoked since the outbreak of the pandemic. All of the flowers that they create will then be brought together and used by a leading international artist to create a spectacular, large-scale sculptural piece of public art that will be exhibited in a prominent location. The piece will tell the unheard story of Jersey children’s experience of the pandemic, while also acting as a symbol of our unity as a community. Skipton Forget Me Knots has been developed in partnership with the Department of Children, Young People, Education and Skills (CYPES) and third sector organisations including Youthful Minds, MIND, Mencap and Jersey Youth Service. It will see at least 3,200 young people taking part, with workshops beginning once Jersey’s government announces return to school dates. The project marks the ninth year in which Skipton International has worked alongside ArtHouse Jersey to deliver large-scale, meaningful art that benefits the local community. It has also been supported by the One Foundation.

Tom Dingle, Director of ArtHouse Jersey said “This project has been designed by a teacher looking to reconnect with her students as they return to school. I think in Jersey we are acutely aware that all of our experiences of the lock down have been different: for some it has been a time to rest, recuperate and spend time with family, for others it might have been a time of pain, illness, worry and loneliness. This project will help young people open up about what their experiences might have been helping teachers and peers to support those who might need it most. We are hugely grateful to Skipton International and the One Foundation for enabling us to deliver this work on such a scale and are particularly pleased that it will culminate in a piece of public art that can be physically displayed despite the restrictions we are operating in.”

Aaron Walden, Commercial Manager, Skipton International said “We all need a symbol of unity and positivity at the moment and we are proud to be delivering this project along with ArtHouse Jersey. Creativity has been such an important outlet during this pandemic for adults and children alike, allowing us to break from the challenges of our day and to reconnect with our emotions and mental wellbeing. Through our partnership with ArtHouse we hope to encourage more people to celebrate local art, either by practicing a form of art or by visiting what is bound to be a very impactful final sculpture as part of this project.”

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