Lockdown exhibition tackles social isolation in Berkhamsted

Sharing lockdown experiences through art

By Holly Patel
Wednesday, 19th August 2020, 9:02 am
Updated Wednesday, 19th August 2020, 9:06 am

A community space in Berkhamsted is sharing local people's experiences of lockdown through an art exhibition.

In June, Open Door asked the Berkhamsted community to send in their art and a few words about their life during lockdown.

More than 60 people responded – from children to professional artists. Open Door shared the art and stories on Facebook and Instagram, and now they’ve turned the virtual exhibition into a real-life exhibition - Your World.

Your World

Open Door founder Joan Fisher said: “We were so sad that we were unable to welcome people to our exhibition space during lockdown.

"We also knew a lot of people would be missing regular human contact, so we came up with the idea of bringing an exhibition into their homes, every day, through social media.”

“We chose the theme ‘Your World: A window into life since lockdown’ because so many people were using creativity to express their experience of those strange times.

"We know from the feedback that the daily art and stories really helped others feel less isolated.”

Liz Grammenos's painting 'Lockdown Vase of Positivity'

The Open Door exhibition - which is open on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays - features paintings, photos and ceramics, as well as the story each artist shared about their life in lockdown.

Artist Liz Grammenos said: “Painting each day gave me a focus and time to put aside all the cares and worries about the pandemic.

"It kept me positive! The Your World exhibition gave me a great sense of togetherness and made me feel I was not alone in this.”

Nine-year-old artist Boden Hay said: “I’m really proud that my Fortnite picture is in a proper exhibition, and I’m pleased that it is hanging next to Max’s painting.

The art and stories have been turned into a real-life exhibition - Your World

"Max is one of the friends I played Fortnite with during lockdown when we couldn’t see each other.”

Many of the pieces of art are for sale, as well as prints and cards – helping to raise money for Open Door’s work to tackle isolation in the community.

Open Door is on the High Street, and the exhibition is open from 11am till 2pm on the selected days, until September 9.

Open Door was set up to be a safe and welcoming space for people to meet, make friends, and be active and creative, it runs a donations café, serving tea, coffee and cake, and has a spacious garden where you can sit and enjoy them.

Open Door turned the virtual exhibition into a real-life exhibition - Your World

Open Door have grown quickly over the last three years, and are now reviewing their services and premises.

They would love your help in shaping their next phase, to answer a few questions, visit www.opendoorberkhamsted.co.uk, the survey closes on August 28.