New arts project launches to help isolated people in East Durham

May 26, 2021 | Local News

East Durham Creates has launched an art project which aims to brighten the day of isolated people while giving everyone a chance to make postcard art.

Art Hit: Post Art is an innovative visual art project thought up by artist Eleanor Matthews working with East Durham Creates (EDC) where anyone can sign up to receive a free postcard art pack. Postcards returned to EDC will be sent out to people in the East Durham community who are feeling isolated due to the pandemic.

The postcard pack includes hints and tips for making your own postcard art while professional artists are giving online tutorials available through the project’s Facebook page. The scheme, which launched in April, lets you sign up for a free pack – so far themes include ‘Animals’, The Wild’ and ‘Home Doodles’. The artists who have been creating tutorials to inspire people are: Eleanor Matthews, MaiaMythical, Suzanne Williams, Christine Robinson, Sofia Barton, Catherine Thomson, Alison Curry and Alan Sill – who set a photography project which has been very popular, with photos people have submitted being turned into postcards.

Art Hit: Post Art Project Manager Eleanor Matthews said: ‘There has been a great response to the project with some amazing postcard art sent in. More and more people are signing up to take part as well as groups such as The Youth Hub in Dawdon who produced some wonderful photography on our ‘Colour’ theme. People who are receiving the cards are delighted and they are really brightening up people’s lives.’ Groups such as East Durham Veterans Trust have shared the cards people have created with people in their network who live on their own in Seaham, as have Dawdon Community Centre, who have had replies back from older residents who say the cards have made them a difference, and helped them feel more connected.

You can sign up to receive a free postcard pack at https://tinyurl.com/25t3zrjr or take part in the project on the Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/arthitpostart You can also nominate someone – or yourself! – to receive a card at https://tinyurl.com/sw53k3e3

Project artists Eleanor Matthews and Alison Curry will be at Dalton Park on June 1, 11am – 5pm, during half term, where you can come and see them and make a postcard or pick up a postcard pack, or nominate someone to receive a card, in person.

Jess Hunt, Project Lead for East Durham Creates said: “This project is all about us reconnecting with each other through creative, accessible activity and continuing to think of those who, despite changing restrictions, continue to feel isolated and alone. The pandemic has shown us just how vital that way of thinking is and we really want to support that continuing as normality begins to return.”

“It’s a project all about art by and for people in East Durham which can give them hope for the future, which is really what East Durham Creates is all about!”