Connectivity is the art residency, supported by the a-n:Artists Information Company, at the mental health hospital. During four months I will focus on acquiring a set of new skills suitable for an artist-educator, and will continue my art research into the role of women in health care and society. My art residency was scheduled to start ‘in-person’ in March 2020. However, due to the pandemic and lockdown, the workshops with service users were replanned to suit a new way of living behind computer screens. Art residency has started late September, and I have met people from the hospital through a virtual reality where distance is breached by words and ideas, where physical three dimensional presence is replaced by the flatness of the screen. There is a different value of time, each minute is a treasure, each suggestion of the art tool and technique shall be clear. It seems that the performing skills are climbing to the first position.
I have started realizing that the artist-participant relationship built during our ‘new times’ does not require physical presence. Participants’ imagination creates new approaches and they experience full joy in the art process rather than in a final result.
Here is my art response to the first online session where I met my group and carried out the first online workshop.


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The project goes slow, other factors have powers over workshops: sickness, planned activities, sometimes blues on the other side.
It seems that art projects are a fluid matter which adapts and changes along with their development. Especially, now, when some activities might be interrupted with sudden announcements of lockdowns.

During the last session, we discussed the materiality of art techniques, which one is preferable and brings more excitement to the group. All agreed that work on art processes involving tactile senses and the three-dimensional thinking lead to satisfaction at a higher level.

Thoughts about the paper. Staying at home during the second lockdown, I have started thinking about how paper acts during centuries as a bearer of a source of chronicle, knowledge, historical and economic facts, medical records, stories, fraud, betrail, truth. I come to terms that the everyday life before the pandemic was surrounded by paper products, which were not appreciated properly. Now, the touch and smell of the newspaper during a morning underground journey seems a distant luxury. The same is valid for our sensory experiences at work, in groups, during meeting with friends. A simple eye contact is different on a zoom call. Relationships build during online workshops are based on other qualities, body language is missed, true eye to eye exposure is gone too.

The online workshops bring excitement but there are no physical experiences, no visual absorption of relationships. The one hour turned into intense efforts in braking distance by using proper words, appropriate techniques, the conversation about art and nature. It all simplified.

So, making the connection between the paper value and relationships, I experimented with waxing paper on which I drew lines representing connections. The process is tangible, physical and real, in contrast with the online life.

‘Immortal connections’ that human race experience through captured facts on paper bring to surface acts of empathy, understanding, sacrificing, acceptance of inevitable changes, love as well the horror. However, the current time as a river brings ideas that the state of new order might stay for longer. Few images capture my visual thought on above writing.


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The opportunity provided by a-n funding helped tremendously to develop my art practice into a new direction which I haven’t expected before COVID19. Working on my art practice development and giving art workshops online changed my understanding of the role of artist in society when situation asks for the brand new approach to professional and personal life.

My art residency changed its location to the virtual space and shrined lots of valuable relations existed in real clinical space. Now, my group is at the low-security unit with the online access only.  Situation puts lots of demand on special requirements for art materials and tools, plus clear instructions without physical presence. Challenges for learning elements are at every corner.

If there are artists catalogues and art books to show in person, now, other ways shall replace the actual presentation.  I decided to create inspirational videos for each online workshop which is a beneficial tool to ignite participants’ imagination in current situation. My working week starts on Friday with developing  a mind map, art session plan, a storyboard, suitable art techniques and an actual recording.

I found that it is useful to incorporate scenery from nature, especially, if there are green leaves, natural sounds of rivers, birds songs, signets, ducklings, and other animals. These ideas were explored and developed  during the toughest summer of my life, the pandemic one.

Here is my artist’s response to the second week. The Paper Art workshop was a small success. Creating paper birds, mobiles and ornaments provoked thinking in three dimensional way. Artworks were placed on doorways and windowsills to celebrate colour, forms and air movement. Lightness of the form make association with falling leaves and feathers.


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