Our Lockdown competition attracted entries of all kinds including a ‘Covid’ adapted version of The Nightmare Song from Gilbert and Sullivan’s Iolanthe. The stresses of a Zoom call were ably expressed in a humorous, tongue twisting monologue by Jenny Saunders. Of course, it really needed to be sung at our prize giving ceremony in early September and we are grateful to Gareth Davies from the St David’s Players, Exeter’s G&S Society, for helping us make this happen. Gareth sang this hilarious rendition, with local pianist Roger Stephenson accompanying, and Jenny was delighted to see her piece performed in front of an enthusiastic audience in the town square. Emma Mills from Crediton, a long standing member of the St David’s Players, reports on the history of this popular society and how they have been coping with lockdown.
If you live in Crediton, or are visiting the shops, you will have probably noticed a new look to the town square. Twelve picnic tables with parasols were installed in early July, to provide a safe space for people to take a break, meet friends and catch up. Share in the Square was a Town Team initiative, to help raise morale and bring vitality back to the town centre. But its impact has far exceeded expectations, as Town Team Chair Rosemary Stephenson explains.
The blogs on our website reflect local life in very special ways. We all know our lives have changed over the last few months and some of our blog writers tell the story of their own challenges and responses. Our picture editor, Nancy Murgatroyd, picks some highlights from our most recent postings.
Artists are often quite resourceful people. The challenges posed by the pandemic have been manifold, but many are managing to adapt and find new ways to explore their passions. Crediton artist Vin Jelly lost much of his paid work during lockdown, but kept painting regardless. He also started filming his paintings as they developed and sharing the videos on YouTube. Not only has the filming process helped him concentrate, but he has gathered a new audience for his work.
Our recent competition ‘My Life in Lockdown’ prompted an astonishing display of creative talent in our community. The judges were hugely impressed by the range of skills and the quality of the work submitted, mostly by amateur artists. We asked some of the competitors to tell us what inspires their creativity and what their art means to them. Jamie Sollis, whose satirical cartoon below was highly commended, started drawing in 2016 at a time of turmoil, after a break of 30 years. He says that art helps him to relax and to reconnect with his childhood.
After a 10 year break artist Sarah Cooper rediscovered her love of painting. Learning from online tutorials, books and other artists, she has worked with oils, watercolour and charcoal. Although she had less time for painting during lockdown, when her studio was given over to home educating her three children, she still managed to contribute to the Portraits for NHS Heroes campaign. The delight of the health worker, whose portrait she painted, reinforced her belief that giving is the greatest joy of painting.
People from across the country are being invited to contribute to a Quarantine Quilt in a creative response to the pandemic led by Crediton-based Significant Seams. This group of local artists has received Arts Council funding to lead a national project, which will inspire people to create quilts in many different areas. Their aim is to collect and stitch together people’s responses to the experience of living through a pandemic, as Significant Seams Director Catherine West explains.