A month-long exhibition of unique artwork exploring how the Covid pandemic has affected local people has opened at Burnham-On-Sea’s Princess Theatre.

The thought-provoking exhibition features the work of 12 local artists who were commissioned by the theatre to create pieces that sum up how the pandemic, lockdown and a lack of human contact, has affected us all over the past year.

The free exhibition, called ‘Contact’, was opened by Burnham and Highbridge Mayor Cllr Mike Facey and is now open to the public on weekdays and Saturdays from 9am-5pm until July 25th.

Beccy Armory, the theatre’s Business Development Officer, and Dave Eldergill, the theatre’s Visual Arts Co-ordinator, pictured below, have overseen the exhibition, which was created as a response to the need for human contact during the lockdown.

The artists are Ann Elson, Juliet Farnese, Tick Rowley, Jackie Curtis, Naomi Wilson, Sally Jones, Francesca Strong, Fergus Riley, Grace Green, Alison Jacobs, James Saunders, Selina Keedwell, and Eloise-Rose Philpot.

Beccy, who is leading the creative team at The Princess Theatre, says: “Covid-19 has changed all of our lives in many different ways.”

”What our artists have created is a body of work that we can all relate to in some way shape or form.”

“The response to every piece is different but emotionally we understand as humans how each of these pieces translates.”

“Thanks to the Arts Council’s emergency response grant, funded by National Lottery players, the Princess put out an open call last year for Somerset artists to produce work which articulated that very real need for human contact during lockdown and to reflect on what our new way of life looks like.”

Dave Eldergill, the theatre’s Visual Arts Co-ordinator, adds: “The work varies in its use of media from animation, photography, iPad, to installation pieces. The artists, all Somerset based, range from professionals to educators to a school child.”

“We hope visitors enjoy this varied exhibition that pulls at the heart strings and challenges people – we plan to hold 3-4 exhibitions a year that showcase the work of local artists.”

The work is filling the whole building and residents can take the opportunity to wander The Princess, at no charge, to see the work and also get a taste of the theatre’s new look following its refurbishment undertaken during the closure.

 
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