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Active and In Touch’s Portrayal of a Pandemic captures the imagination

ACTIVE and In Touch’s art exhibition, ‘Portrayal of a Pandemic’, opened last week to rave reviews.

And the exhibition, at Black Swan Arts’ Round Tower gallery has proved so popular it has been extended until this Sunday, 19th September.

About the preview evening for the exhibition, held on Friday 6th September, a spokesperson for Active and In Touch said, “The preview evening of ‘Portrayal of a Pandemic’ was a foretaste of the enjoyment, challenge, admiration, joy, sadness and many other emotions that subsequent visitors will feel.

“Active and In Touch – which supports people in Frome and the surrounding villages who feel lonely or isolated – wished to encourage those of all ages to exhibit pieces of art and craft work demonstrating their emotional response to living in the pandemic – and what a response there was!

“Amazing pieces were submitted across all categories – adult entries, under 18s and under 12s.  A huge variety of media encompassing oil and acrylic paintings, poetry, iPad art, weaving, embroidery, fine art, photography, continuous line drawing, songs and other creative approaches were on display.”

A visitor at the preview evening was heard to say, “It’s such personal work, people have been pouring their hearts out”, whilst Di, an Active and In Touch member, was delighted to see “such large and diverse pieces of art”.   

Active and In Touch co-ordinator, Di Roberts, the person behind the original idea, said she was “very proud of the exhibition and totally overwhelmed by the range of talent from those of all ages, young and older”.

And visitors and exhibitors, Ruth and Peter Stacy, felt all they had seen “a wonderfully diverse exhibition reflecting today’s strange but also beautiful times”.

A spokesperson for the charity continues, “The diversity of approach, age, background and perspective was very definitely evident throughout the exhibition.   

“Welcoming everyone was a cheerful ‘Captain Tom’ Portrait from an eight year old artist, accompanied by a nine year old’s colourful NHS face mask, students from North Hill House School supported via individual prints and all age decades were represented including the exquisite and delicate botanical art from an Active and In Touch member in her 90s.   

“There were pieces of hope side by side with those of despair, light contrasting with dark, huge images protecting smaller works, expressions of gratitude contrasting with feelings of anger, art reflecting a moment in time or an ongoing piece worked throughout the pandemic, unanswered questions and thoughts as to what might lie ahead, a veritable artistic feast.”

“It is well worth a visit to immerse yourself both in the talents on display and the emotional responses they elicit.  There is an opportunity to purchase pieces of the artwork or an Active and In Touch Calendar for 2022 which contains copies of work from the winners in each category.”

Active and In Touch would like to thank all of those who submitted work, the support given by Black Swans Art, Frome Town Council, Gill Harry, Frome Memories, Robert Kirkham, Frome FM, Jill Phillips, Bo Bowmanshaw, Corsham Print, Emma Kingston and the judges for each category, namely Moira Andrew, Chris Bailey, David Chandler, Tina Gainsford-Waller, Norman Leater, Laura New, Gladys Paulus and Edgar Phillips.

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