At the time of writing this, I’ve been in lockdown with my 7 and 4 year olds for about a month. Like many others, I’m juggling home education and child care with my work. Whilst many projects are on hold for an unforeseeable length of time, some are adapting and shifting the modes of delivery.

Thankfully, our postal system is still operational and currently an option to distribute our arts about mental health publication Dwell Time whilst we remain in lockdown. We’ve sent our contributors copies and are looking at the possibility of an online launch and postal delivery for anyone who wants a copy. There will also be an online pdf available too. We’ve also published a special edition open call for work made in and about the Covid-19 pandemic and the isolation we find ourselves in. Anyone is welcome to contribute with words, images, video, sound files. Please email them to [email protected] All contributions are published on our website and shared on our social media.

Zoom meetings have replaced face to face meetings of Art Lab and Halifax Mothers Who Make. Art Lab continues to ‘meet’ online via Zoom monthly and Mothers Who Make are tending to do shorter, weekly check-ins prioritising coping strategies and mental health. A pandemic is not necessarily the optimum time to be productive and creative and whilst these groups are for creativity, they are support groups fundamentally and the support needed right now is to counter the isolation and crisis we are all in. Some people have managed to make art work through the crisis and that can also a valuable coping strategy. Art Lab is open to all people making and interested in art and if you have some art to share please do join. Mothers Who Make is for any mother and any maker so if that’s you and you would like to join please do.

Whilst the time for my own practice has been reduced significantly, I’ve been making lots of crafts with my children and they’ve been helping me with a few projects. They’ve been enjoying colouring in my Same Skies Regional Democracy zines and these are also downloadable to colour in if you have access to a printer: They also enjoyed helping me make Corona Book Worm the 1st who started off life to be a prop for my now postponed/cancelled Huddersfield Literature Festival workshops with Magic Rock Brewery. The Book Worm is made from redundant crown caps (corona caps) which my eldest helped hammer holes through and my youngest helped cut the spacers for to thread them into them central cord. This is part of an ongoing project Cap Stories where we collect stories and illustrate them inside discard (rubbish) caps. This project may evolve into collecting coronavirus stories of life in lockdown

I’ve also been continuing with some studio drawings that are repetitive circles with automatic writing and scribbles. I use leftover beetroot juice and ink, bubble wrap prints, charcoal and pen and, when I get some time on an evening, these are my rubbish drawings processing the conversations and thoughts of the day.

Alice Bradshaw