The Babylon Gallery, based in Ely celebrates the community’s creativity in an exhibition that brings together five projects that began in lockdown and have, over the period of five months, involved hundreds of people in creative activities and discussions.
During the course of lockdown, Babylon ARTS invited the community to get involved in various projects that enabled people of all ages to get creative in their homes and take part in activities that led to exhibitions both online and in the windows of Babylon Gallery.
The projects and the exhibition are supported by funding from Arts Council England and include: Comic Book Windows with local Manga Artist Irina Richards, Together In Isolation postcard project, portraits of key workers in photographer Regina Ray’s Chapter In Our Lives, clay models made by local residents as part of Somewhere in Ely and The Library Presents’ Digital Quarantine Quilt.
With postcards made by people from 6 months old, alongside work by professional artists; poetry that has been transformed into comic illustrations, photography that captures key workers who have supported us all through this time, pottery inspired by Ely and connection through quilting.
Babylon ARTS’ Young Curators Olu Taiwo and Sid White-Jones have worked with Stuart Green to curate the exhibition and install all the artworks.
Artist, Irina Richards said “I feel fortunate to have been part of the Comic Book Windows project. It felt good to be able to work with Babylon Arts and the public – the response was fantastic. I especially enjoyed the poetry component of the project – the poems were full of sincerity and raw emotion. The project showed that despite the challenges and restrictions that the lockdown has brought about, the need for the arts and creativity is greater than ever.”
The poetry submitted by the public, for the Comic Book Windows project, has been incorporated into a booklet that will be available to take away for a donation to Babylon ARTS, throughout the duration of the exhibition (whilst stocks last!). The funds raised will go towards projects such as the ones showcased as part of the exhibition.
Chief Executive, Claire Somerville said “It’s our mission at Babylon ARTS to develop creativity and connect communities with arts and culture, and whilst this period of time has been, and continues to be, challenging, it’s also provided a wonderful opportunity for people to connect with or re-connect with their creative abilities.”
Claire continues “From craft to poetry writing; from pottery to photography – people have been expressing their thoughts, ideas, worries and joyful moments in creative ways and sharing them with us and the artists we’re working with and we hope that it inspires you, as it has us.”
All Together Now starts Friday 16th October and runs until Sunday 15th November. The Babylon Gallery is open Tuesday to Sunday, 12pm to 4pm with free entry.
Press release from Babylon ARTS