Community Visual Arts Still Thriving Under Lockdown

How CPP Hounslow's visual arts programme is busier than ever in lockdown (and beyond!).

Author: Daisy McMullan
Monday, 22 June 2020

I’m Daisy, the Visual Arts Producer for CPP Hounslow, Watermans’ major outreach programme in the borough of Hounslow. I work with a curatorial panel, which includes a group of local people and library staff, to curate a programme of exhibitions and events in Hounslow’s Libraries and a network of Community Café Galleries. Our aim is to support visual arts in Hounslow, with the community in the driving seat, and CPP Hounslow staff like myself to support and bring ideas to fruition.

Since our venues are closed during lockdown, we have put all our content online, so you can now see our exhibitions, attend our events and join in with activities to try at home. We’re even holding our curatorial panel meetings online so our programme is in continuous development, with plans underway for our 2021 exhibitions already.

Our exhibitions are really varied, covering all sorts of themes and topics, designed to challenge, surprise and inspire our local communities. We have worked with world renowned dance company Akademi on an exhibition of photographs documenting their amazing production The Troth. We have also worked with artists who are locally based, including Rehmat Rayatt on an exhibition titled Music and Me, a series of photographic portraits of Hounslow musicians, and Gerald Curtis on an exhibition of painting titled Regeneration on Hounslow Heath.

The Troth at Cranford Library c.Cristina Schek

A project I particularly liked was one where we engaged local people in The Memory Library with Marie Klimis. The Memory Library features stories from members of the community about their personal experiences of living in Hounslow over the decades, as well as a series of works by illustrator Aleesha Nandhra called Neighbourhood Tastes exploring food and culture.

We also have some exciting projects in development that will launch later in 2020, including Animal Stories an exhibition of new historical stories about animals in the borough of Hounslow, researched by Alistair Cartwright and brought to life through stop motion animation by Amber Cooper Davies, artists chosen by the local curatorial group. We’re also working with local illustrator Laura Edralin, on a project called Hounslow’s Hidden Heroes, celebrating the extraordinary people who live and work in the community.

Music and Me at Hanworth LIbrary c. Cristina Schek

During the Lockdown, we’ve focussed more of our work on the impact of Covid-19, and we are working in collaboration with University of West London BA (Hons) Photography students on an online exhibition titled HOME, and a project called How do we Adapt? looking at creative ways people are adapting their usual activities when they can’t do what they would normally.

There are also public events (currently online) to accompany our exhibition programme. You can watch extracts of our recent Meet the Artist events here.

We’ll be holding more events soon, so keep an eye out for what’s coming up!

Lastly, there are lots of ways to get involved with the Visual Arts Programme, from our activities to do at home, to sending in your suggestions for exhibitions, or even joining the curatorial panel. So please do visit our website and find out more:

You can see all our exhibitions online by visiting our website or by clicking on one of the links below to take you straight there. Enjoy!

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