• Naseem Syed

‘Thank you’ by Andrea Carney


After a life changing adventure living and working in Australia for a few years, I returned to Wales and full time education as a mature student. After deciding to explore a creative career I graduated as an Artist Designer: Maker in 2016. Since then I have become interested in art for wellbeing and enjoyed working with different groups within the community. Prior to the pandemic I ran a weekly art and craft workshop on the dementia ward at the hospital, creating meaningful activities was enjoyable but sharing life stories with the patients was heart-warming.

Has lockdown changed you? How? Why?

Lockdown has certainly changed how I work. 80% of my work is in a participatory capacity, so unfortunately the pandemic has taken away the opportunities I had to run face-to-face workshops.

What made you smile or brought you joy in lockdown? Can you explain it?

Life has been fast paced for many years on a personal and professional level. Lockdown gave me time to slow down and take time to ‘play’. I took advantage of online opportunities and used the time to explore my creativity and learn new skills. It was refreshing to live a slower life, taking time to enjoy the simple things. Giving myself permission to ‘play’ was a joyful experience.

Have you changed since lockdown? Tell me why.

I don’t think I have changed, but I think lockdown has made me realise that you can’t take tomorrow for granted. As a family, we had planned a very busy year having booked lots of large live concerts, all of which have been cancelled of postponed. I miss the atmosphere of a live concert, going out with my family for a meal or meeting a friend for coffee. I am looking forward to a time when it is safe to do those things again.

What is the story behind your hand art?

I created this artwork using new techniques that I explored during lockdown and was inspired by clapping for the NHS and celebrating 72 years of the national health service. The slow stitching techniques gave me an opportunity to think about all the occasions the NHS had been there for me; from the birth of my children, to the end of life care of my parents and everything in between.

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