Craft Cafe have continued to be creative during coronavirus lockdown
Older residents of Govan have taken over a shop front on Crossloan Street to provide their local community with a colourful window display of recycled art materials.
The residents are all members of a local community arts group, Craft Café, ran by creative arts charity, Impact Arts.
Prior to lockdown, the drop-in sessions for those aged 60+ took place at Elderpark Community Centre and offered residents a safe, social, and creative environment, to learn new skills, renew social networks and reconnect with their communities. The activities, facilitated by artists, are self-directed by participants, and harness the joy of creativity, artistic expression, experimentation and learning.
Many of the current members are identified by the government as those most vulnerable and in need of shielding. As such, Impact Arts reviewed how they could adapt delivery methods, employing a variety of ways to connect, engage and communicate with members remotely. From delivering individually bespoke creative art packs, to an engaging Postcard Project, monthly newsletters containing focused activities, resources and updates from other members and community groups, along with weekly phone calls, welfare check-ins and a good old fashioned blether.
Craft Café member, Anne said: “The calls have been really great. It’s a lovely feeling that someone is checking up on you.”
Isolation and loneliness has been at the forefront of this pandemic and more so for elderly people who often live alone and relied on these types of activities to connect with others. For some, these measures proved to be ‘a lifeline’ and became ‘the highlight of their week’, providing regular support and stability during such an unpredictable and ever-developing period.
The window display is the first joint piece of work the Craft Café has been able to do since the lockdown started. The idea for the project started when members of the public began using their windows to display artwork. Some of the members did not feel up to doing this in their own homes so Impact Arts created the Craft Café lockdown logo sticker, which had symbolic shapes of what the Craft Café means to all the members. This included; a sun to symbolise their energy, a forget-me-not flower to remember each other at a distance and those we have recently lost, a heart and a star. They used the mandala principles of design to make it and turned it into a window sticker.
Different shape kits were posted out to around 60 members as part of an art pack, to allow them to make something out of the scrap materials for the display.
Lead tutor, Charlotte Craig then constructed all the artwork in a shop window on the corner of Crossloan Street and Uist Street in Govan, next to the Dig In Community Green Grocers and it is now on display to bring some warmth and colour for the community to enjoy. Charlotte said: “It felt like a mini feat getting this work together, and actually having something physical in a time when we are all so separated. I hope this makes our members feel proud, and that it spreads a little colour and love in the local community.”