Undoubtedly one of the most creative responses to the Covid-19 lockdown has been Art is where the home is, the free-to-download, online activity packs designed to keep everyone entertained, creative and engaged whilst having to stay at home.
Launched by Firstsite on 31 March, the innovative idea was such a hit that within a month of the first pack being made available over 27,000 had been downloaded, with several more versions following. In total the packs – featuring contemporary artists including Grayson Perry, Gillian Wearing, Antony Gormley, Hetain Patel, Jeremy Deller, Vanley Burke, Gee Vaucher, and Shawanda Corbett- have now reached over 72,000 households.
Last week Firstsite Director Sally Shaw, was honoured with an MBE for her contribution to the national response to Covid-19.
Now Firstsite is launching a spin off to Art is where the home is – with Art is where the home is TV. Hosted on Firstsite’s website and YouTube channel the free-to-view episodes will feature artists from across the UK presenting ideas and creative activities for everyone to do at home.
Kicking things off will be The Art Cave – launching at the start of Half Term (Saturday 24 October) and running up until Christmas. This new, fun, free ‘how-to’ online show will be released at 10am each Saturday morning. In it, Colchester artists Iris Gunnarsdottir and Tom Armstrong will show children and young people how to create fun art and crafts at home.
Each episode of The Art Cave will include a mixture of building, drawing and play – from making sock puppets to drawing cartoons – and encourage making and creativity in the home.
Firstsite Director, Sally Shaw MBE says: “Our mission at Firstsite is to empower people, no matter their background, to be creative together and lead happier and healthier lives – by providing creative opportunities to help people think differently and find new solutions to everyday problems. Creating the activity packs– and now these videos – is something we are able to do to help support everyone, building a virtual creative community where everyone can feel connected and use their imagination to create something wonderful and fun. Art and creativity have such a powerful positive effect on wellbeing, and taking time to be creative can really help to build resilience and combat feelings of isolation and anxiety in these difficult times. Although aimed at children and young people, I’m sure everyone will enjoy exploring The Art Cave with Iris and Tom!”