Art during Covid-19

How patients at Cygnet Elms hosputal responded to the coronavirus lockdown.

An inspiring piece of art created during of the coronavirus lockdown by a service user at Cygnet Elms in Erdington has been selected in a nationwide competition to illustrate a calendar for staff and patients’ families.

As the pandemic was putting the country through an emotional wringer, service users at the Birmingham high dependency complex care service, which provides support for women with learning disabilities and associated complex mental health needs, used the time to paint and create pieces of art.

Of more than 80 pieces of artwork produced by individuals at Cygnet services around the UK for Cygnet Health Care’s 2021 Calendar Competition, an original piece of work from the service user in Streetly Road, titled Dancing Daisy, was singled out as a winner by the judges.

Laura Bates, Head of Marketing at Cygnet Health Care, said: “When we launched the calendar competition this year, the government had just imposed the lockdown, and the rising numbers of coronavirus cases around the UK meant that our service users and residents couldn’t access the community or enjoy the usual contact they have with other people outside the hospital. However, between March and the May 1st deadline for the competition entries, we saw an amazing response from individuals, with so many inspiring pieces coming at a time of great upheaval both at home and globally.”

“We normally only select thirteen pieces, but this year the quality of entries was so good that we have decided to publish 21 pieces, thirteen that will make up the cover page and months in the calendar, with an added eight images at the back as special mentions.”

Laura added: “The Cygnet calendar is much-anticipated each year and I want to say a huge thank you to all our service users, residents and staff for the entries and the judges.”

Sarah Jenks, Hospital Manager, at Cygnet Elms said: “Dancing Daisy is such a beautiful picture, and shows the artist has real talent. I’m so proud of the winner and everyone at Cygnet Elms who submitted entries during what was a very challenging time for the country.” Winning artists will each receive a £50 gift voucher prize and the accolade of having their pictured artwork included in the calendar.