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Finding the creative side of covid

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By Fiona Reid
Finding the creative side of covid

A COLLECTION of community creativity borne out of lockdown has been released.

The ‘We Agree On Eggs’ (WAOE) Arts Collective has gathered together works created over the last year by writers and artists in Dumfries and Galloway.

The stories, poems, drawings, photographs, paintings and crafts all date from the period since the start of the first UK lockdown on March 23 2020, up to the present day.

And they have been put together to form ‘Quaranthology’.

It was the brainchild of Phil Palios, an alumni student of University of Glasgow (Crichton campus), and member of WAOE. He said: “I decided that capturing whatever people in Dumfries were writing during this unique historical moment was important.

“People were writing and creating around many different themes: lack of control, time, needs and changes in lifestyle, heartbreak, mental health. Some are not even necessarily about the pandemic, but even those capture the feel of life in lockdown as one of the criteria for submission was that the pieces be written during lockdown.”

Fellow ‘egg’ Lizzie Parsons took up the mantle of the project when Phil had to leave Dumfries. She organised some virtual workshop evenings for contributors to read each other’s writing and give feedback. Then came the task of editing and compiling it into a neat volume, funded by Loreburn Community Council and printed by Solway Print.

The pair were impressed by the range of submissions and believe that lockdown made many people more creative.

Lizzie said: “I certainly found with more time and a calmer life I had the space to create more artwork and poetry, as well as wanting to respond expressively to the dramatic events unfolding.

“For some creative folk, it was such an overwhelming time they didn’t have the headspace to write or create artwork, so it has certainly been a different experience for everyone.”

Sharing his experience, Phil added: “At first I was really struggling to work on the creative projects I had underway before lockdown started. I began writing some poems as a way of coping with my inability to do more of the creative work I had been planning on doing. It felt ironic that despite having so much more time, I couldn’t get very much work done.

“For me, writing poems was as much a mechanism for dealing with that frustration as well as a creative output.”

n Copies of the book are now available, priced at £6.60, contact [email protected] for more information.

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