Art Bubble Archive

COVID-19 Responsive Artworks 

Created by Art Bubble Workshop Participants August-December 2022

[Support Bubble]

“A support bubble is a support network that links 2 households. You can only form a support bubble if you meet certain eligibility rules. Not everyone can form a support bubble.”1

Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in late 2019 many of us have faced additional, consequential health challenges and been left feeling anxious or with difficult experiences to process. Echoing this, referrals to Arts for Health MK’s Arts on Prescription programmes have grown at an unprecedented rate.

Recognising these additional challenges, Arts for Health MK; with the support of Milton Keynes Council’s, dedicated Public Health / COVID-19 support team; established a series of artist led ‘brief intervention’ workshops.

[Art Bubble]

Offered four series of free, weekly art sessions in a safe, friendly, supportive environment, for adults over the age of 18, with a diagnosis or pre-diagnosis of a mental health concern. The project identified vaccine hesitancy amongst existing referrals and prioritised access.

The sessions were led by our Collections and Exhibitions Manager and Artist, Emma Barford, who helped participants to explore and express their concerns through a series of drawing, collage and mixed-media art activities. Participants created their own individual artworks and collaborative responses together. Themes discussed included: 

  • Outdoors
  • Fear
  • Bereavement
  • Guilt
  • Living with COVID-19

Each workshop focused on a technique that could be reused by participants a home beyond the workshops, for example, to help visually articulate feelings of anxiety, or if you had a ‘bad’ day, similar to how you might use a diary.

As part of this process the group discussed what it would feel like to show their artwork to others. For some participants, what they had created was a private response; for others there was a desire to exhibit their artworks for others to see. With permission from the participants, these pages have been created as a public exhibition/archive of selected works. To paraphrase one participant:

“…if just one person see’s this picture and realises, their experiences, challenges and anxieties are valid -that someone else feels or felt like this it is worth it.”

On completion of the sessions, we hoped that participants would have found them helpful and rewarding. That they would have increased confidence and be more likely to become fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and encourage others to do so; as well as that they would want to carry on creating artwork independently - helping themselves to feel better and stay well long term.

︎ A brief summary of the art activity has been included on each page for you to complete independently in your own time should you wish (look for the icons).

Further Support:

Please find links to specialist support services here, alternatively contact us on:

︎ With thanks to MK Council’s Public Health team for their support, and our dedicated volunteers, Emma W, Elaine, Naomi, and Susan.

1[, Department of Health and Social Care, guidance September 2020

 This project was kindly funded by Milton Keynes Council: Covid Team © All images courtesy of the artist and participants.

Arts for Health Milton Keynes
Facilities Directorate
Milton Keynes Hospital
Standing Way
Milton Keynes

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Arts for Health Milton Keynes is the working name of MK Arts for Health charity number 1107625  company number 05137693