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Creative round-up March 2021

A selection of art and design news items that have caught our eye, highlighting the amazing variety of creative incentives and the impact of Covid-19 on the design sector not only from the last month but over the past year…

We Still See You posters for the NHS

Posters for the People is an art project founded in Leeds last year to thank NHS workers and fund therapy sessions for frontline staff suffering from mental health issues as a result of the pandemic. It has just launched 19 new designs from artists across the UK for the one-year anniversary of the first lockdown. Colourful, creative and eye-catching contributions from artists and designers including Margaret Calvert, Rebecca Strickson and Chris Clark are available from Prices start at £25 and all proceeds go to Frontline19, a free and confidential national service for healthcare workers.

Design Community Hub launch

Leading designers and industry experts have collaborated to launch the Design Community Hub (DCH) to help young designers and those whose careers have been adversely affected by the pandemic. The DCH is a digital platform providing a network of support and guidance through webinars, mentorship schemes and internships. Creative industries are some of the hardest hit by the pandemic and in its mission statement, the portal seeks to ‘keep the industry alive for a more creative future’. The platform will run along the lines of an industry benevolent organisation and is seeking donations, advice and expertise to provide support of all kinds to struggling design professionals. To find out more and donate go to

JJ Waller’s Lockdown portraits

Ingenious director Glenn has a very special book by photographer and fellow Brightonian, JJ Waller, containing informal portraits of people behind closed doors and charting life under the first coronavirus lockdown. Brighton was one of the first places in Britain to experience a Covid-19 outbreak and Waller’s photographs are of city residents marooned at home during the early days of the crisis who responded to his invitation on social media to take part in the project. He used his daily exercise time to record how citizens were coping and the resulting portraits not only convey their hope, endurance and fear but document a moment in history. To order a copy go to

Art in lockdown

Artists of all kinds have used the lockdowns to capture this period in history and an incredible amount of creativity has been going on behind closed doors. Artists have responded to the pandemic by producing works which draw on all elements of our experience from fear, isolation, boredom and stockpiling to celebrating the inspirational heroes who have emerged during the crisis. This Sky News article features amazing and eclectic works by the following artists: Jamie Green, Jonjo Elliott, Hijack, Muck Rock, Mike Thebridge, Georgia Kitty Harris, Sophie Tea, Nina Cosford, Banksy, Saype, Sally Minn and Nathan Wyburn. Follow the link for a closer look

Creative lockdown resources for kids

As the third lockdown posed further challenges to family life, designers rallied to develop a plethora of creativity-led resources to ease pressure on parents and carers home-educating their kids. The following are just a few of many brilliant incentives:

London’s Design Museum dedicated an area on its website to providing creative resources and video tutorials for hands-on making using objects found around the home.

NASA Kids Club came up with online games, interactive experiments and lessons.

Educational platform Eyeyah used graphic design to teach young people about the world around them, producing colourful magazines each covering a different topic, as well as social media-based activities and toolkits for teachers.

Netflix series Emily’s Wonder Lab opened up the world of science for young audiences.

The Victoria and Albert Museum’s Let’s Make Wednesdays continued to offer imaginative weekly design challenges.

Recent art installations

Graffiti artist Banksy was busy again at the start of this month with an imaginative new mural on the wall of Grade II-listed former Reading jail featuring a prisoner escaping on a rope of bedsheets tied to a typewriter, possibly resembling famous inmate Oscar Wilde. The artwork has added strength to calls for the site to be turned into an arts venue.
And at the Palazzo Strozzi in Florence, an installation by French contemporary artist JR reinterprets the façade of the Renaissance building, opening it up to reveal a vision of the interior both real and imagined. Entitled La Ferita (The Wound) and achieved through a monumental black and white collage, this amazing work triggers debate on the accessibility of culture in the age of Covid-19 as well as symbolising the wound suffered by all cultural institutions at this time.

Together, graphic book by Luke Adam Hawker

Ingenious loves this new graphic book by architect turned artist, Luke Adam Hawker. Together records the unfolding pandemic through the eyes of an old man and his dog. It is a deceptively simple book – the detailed illustrations pull readers into an accurate, thoughtful and hopeful account of one of the most challenging years in modern history. As Hawker says: ‘The drawings in this book helped me to process and reflect on this difficult time. My hope is that people find something within these pages to help them do the same.

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