One of the biggest impacts of the first Covid-19 lockdown for me, was that I was no longer able to look after my two year old grandson on Mondays, which I did feel keenly. Yet we have been able to meet during the occasional interludes and to say Hello via WhatsApp. By good fortune, we were able to meet up for his third birthday which coincided with a relaxation of the rules.
I turned my mind to projects. I am a member of Blipfoto and post a photo a day. Two members of Charnwood Arts started a project called Hai-isolation. We were invited to submit Haiku to a Facebook group. Haiku are a Japanese derived poetry form of 17 syllables, usually written in English in three 5-7-5 lines. I submitted photos with my haiku. Several others followed suit. Which was when I began to think about what I could do with this artistic project.
I’ve always wanted to publish a book so I decided to assemble some of my haiku and photos with a rather vague idea about selling it to raise funds for children affected by the closure of schools and not being able to meet their friends during lockdown.
The rainbows they had coloured and drawn during lockdown in the hope of its end were displayed in windows all around the estate. Even the neighbouring school warmed to the theme. Chalk drawings appeared on pavements as schools closed. I felt for the children. It was as if we were all looking forward to the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow which never seemed to arrive. I called my book, ‘Where is the Rainbow?’
If I had known more about book design and marketing, I would have designed the book myself and looked further afield for a suitable printing house rather than use Blurb. My colour photos made the enterprise much more costly. But I did achieve the aim of getting the book published with a ISBN and a British Library cataloguing record. It is no longer available on Amazon which is a good thing because it was absurdly expensive.
My other lockdown project was to take over as web editor of the RPS Digital Imaging Group. It has been a fulfilling challenge to learn new software and to be able to make my mark on the website. I have been extremely grateful for all the RPS sponsored learning online this year.