With people around the world staying at home in order to slow the spread of coronavirus, we've seen lots of brilliant responses from the creative community over the past few weeks. From online drawing lessons to free software, there are now tons of ways to stay inspired at home. And now, Colchester's Firstsite gallery has brought together a crack team of UK artists for a series of activity packs called Art is Where the Home is.
The first activity pack is now available to download, and features creative prompts and activities from twelve artists including Antony Gormley, Gillian Wearing and Jeremy Deller. Perhaps the most immediately apparent thing about the document is that it looks like a work of art itself. With its stark, monochrome design, we can certainly tell that this was produced by a gallery. But don't worry, as well as looking beautiful, the pack was clearly designed to be accessible and fun – particularly for children. You don't need any artistic experience to take part (although you should definitely check out our how to draw tutorials if you're keen to learn).
The pack (opens in new tab) begins with series of prompts (below) from Jeremy Deller, inviting budding artists to "close your eyes and draw a self-portrait", "write a poem in praise of the toilet roll," and more. Things get even craftier elsewhere, with Anthony Gormley offering a lesson in paper chain-making, and Michael Landy encouraging us to build a tower of toilet roll squares because "the grown-ups have bought too much". Many of the activities are guaranteed to raise a smile, such as Gillian Landy's (below), in which we are given template of somebody holding a sign, and asked to draw our own face and write a positive message "to cheer someone up".
The packs are designed to be dipped into as you please: "You can choose to do one or two of them, or all of them," the introduction reads. "You can do them on your own or with other people, morning, noon or night." Budding artists are encouraged to share their work online, either with Firstsite's social media accounts, or via its online studio (opens in new tab).
It's truly heartening to see so many so many artists continue to inspire creativity while we're all stuck at home – we've put together a list of the best free resources you can enjoy during this time. If the first pack is anything to go by, Firstsite and its artists' offering will be enough to keep people busy and creative for days. You can download the first Art is Where the Home is activity pack on the gallery's website. Now, if you'll excuse us, we're off to write a poem in praise of the toilet roll.