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Lockdown Stories

Have you seen our art exhibition in the centre? Find out the artists’ stories during their time in lockdown below.

Lianne Moule

A tattoo artist based in Chelmsford, I have been artistic my entire life. I studied BA(hons) Fine Art at Byam Shaw, Central Saint Martins and 8 years later became a tattoo artist.

With all of my artwork I am attracted to people and nature.

I love the formations of flowers and the delicate transient quality of a petal. The way a delicate petal flows and dances in the wind has been something I have always tried to capture in my work.

With the human portrait/face, I have always been intrigued by the semi transparency of skin and the ever-changing colours that appear and disappear from minute to minute.

During the country-wide lockdown, I immediately was hit with a feeling of ‘uselessness’. The time I usually have in my day is filled with work, with creating tattoos for people, decorating skin with my paintings. I could not do any of this during lockdown and was faced with months of ‘extra time’.

The media seemed unendingly depressing and portrayed the entire time with many negative connotations. I felt the burden of helplessness and the pinches of the financial situation, but I looked at my friends and relatives to see how they were ‘getting through’ this time. The positivity within was endless. Friends having so much extra time with their families, relatives experiencing and enjoying nature and I realized I had painted so much more than I ever would have had I not been given this time. I took to the internet and followed some online tutorials to hone my skills and created endlessly everyday. In my job as a tattoo artist, I create art daily, but during the lockdown the art was entirely for me.

I wanted to share with Chelmsford a ‘positive’ account of lockdown. Among the doom and gloom, it is inherently important to find the positives – the lights and the smiles.

I hope you enjoy viewing some of the creations of my lockdown experience.

Luke Edgar

Having limitations always seem to boost ideas and creativity for me. Usually if I am feeling stagnant with my work, I find that it’s a good approach to remove variables and work within a narrow spectrum. Being in lockdown had its own limitations put on us, but it is also a time see from a different perspective.

I was influenced and inspired by everything around me, walking became a constant for us and many things seen on our walks became the building blocks for new etchings.

Being in lockdown was great for me artistically, as it was interesting to be able to work with very little distractions and having an empty calendar changed my sleep patterns to work through the night. The feeling of having nowhere to be and never needing to know what time it is definitely had major positives but I can also see that it could be a slippery slope in the wrong direction for people.

I completed four sketchbooks and around 15 etchings during this time, each piece merged into the next naturally.

Exhibited are some prints and some originals of the etchings, which are sheets of metal spray painted and then scratched into with a fine needle.

Even know this year has seen loss personally and peripherally for me, I am thankful for the lessons I have learnt in 2020.

John Calvin

I live with my Wife Angie and our rescue dog Gracie on Mersea Island in Essex. The majority of my career has been in architecture where drawing and illustration have always been a huge part of my life.

For twenty plus years, I’ve battled with eye problems. During Christmas 2012 I lost the sight in my right eye, followed by my left a year later. My family and I were devastated and life changed for us all beyond recognition. I underwent some twenty or so major eye surgeries which included transplantation over the following years to present time.

Having gone through many highs and lows, it was overwhelming beyond words when very recently I regained vision in my right eye.

Not wanting to waste this gift, I moved away from architecture and spend my time exploring a deep passion for art, drawing and painting with my Son Luke at our Essex based studio.

During the first month of lockdown I was able to paint without the usual distractions life offers and found it to be such a creative and productive time. Unfortunately, my right seeing eye hit a problem and I found myself back in hospital for more surgery.

During the following months as I recovered, each day I had a few hours of usable vision which I used to paint.

Exhibited are prints of my original 100 x 70cm oil on canvas paintings, original oil sketch and digital painting.

Instagram johncalvin_art