'How our village responded to Covid' - exhibition celebrates community

The Anderson family, coping with home-schooling, feature in Ufford's Covid Creativity & Memories Exhibition

The Anderson family, coping with home-schooling, feature in Ufford's Covid Creativity & Memories Exhibition - Credit: Tamsin Anderson

Villagers in Ufford have joined forces to create a virtual exhibition showcasing their community's response to the Covid pandemic.

The Ufford Covid Creativity and Memories exhibition, due to run online until May 31,  features everything from artworks to gardening photos, music and a focus on key workers.

It is also hoped to stage a physical exhibition in the village near Woodbridge this summer, and more pop-up events during 2021, once restrictions are eased.

Heidi Bell - bug hunting as part of home-schooling.

Heidi Bell - bug hunting as part of home-schooling. This image is featured in the Ufford online exhibition - Credit: Daisy Bell

Artist Jane Cochrane,  one of organisers, said: "It’s not an exhibition about a few creative people’s works of art – it’s about a myriad of different responses, from diary keeping to rug making to tree climbing, to getting married.

"It expresses the frustration as well as the creativity, and includes entries from all ages, from people at work and people shielding, from schoolchildren and pensioners.

"There were no entry criteria and no judging panel. The result is a diverse, eclectic, honest and wide-ranging snapshot of how one village responded to lockdown."

Elsa Cheshire's painting of Sutton Hoo

Elsa Cheshire created this painting of Sutton Hoo, featured in the Ufford Covid Creativity & Memories Exhibition, to help maintain her husband’s mental health during lockdown - Credit: Elsa Cheshire

The village staged the successful two-day Ufford Arts Festival in 2018, ranging from a colourful scarecrow competition to the world's smallest community art gallery, in the village's red phone box.

But a second festival scheduled for 2020 sadly had to be cancelled, and is now planned for 2022.

Tally Marks - a whited out window at the home or visual artist Simon Read, with a stroke wiped out each day throughout...

Tally Marks - this is a whited out window at the home or visual artist Simon Read. He has wiped out a stroke of the whitewash each day and week throughout lockdown - Credit: Simon Read

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Jane described the previous festival as "fantastic", adding: "Each event was free to attend and it bought the whole village together.

"We were so inspired by the creativity, kindliness and sense of community in the village that we decided to try and capture a flavour of this.

"At the start of the pandemic, one resident, Simon Read, had suggested that people should keep a Covid diary for posterity.

"We were aware that some people were doing this and we were keen to include people’s memories too."

Nick Crocker, Tig Thomas and Sandy Greenard, some of the organisers of Ufford's Covid Creativity & Memories Exhibition

Nick Crocker Tig Thomas and Sandy Greenard, some of the organisers of Ufford's Covid Creativity & Memories Exhibition - Credit: Ufford Arts Festival

The exhibition is an open, ongoing event, with new items being added in two or three times a week, looking at the whole community's experience of life under lockdown.

It includes sections about cooking, baking and brewing, including photos of some junior cooks at work, lockdown home and garden projects, photography and film, people working from home and home-schooling and much more.

Jane Cochrane, one of the organisers of Ufford's Covid Creativity & Memories Exhibition 

Jane Cochrane, one of the organisers of Ufford's Covid Creativity & Memories Exhibition - Credit: Jane Cochrane

The event has been organised by a team of six. Apart from Jane, the others are chairman of Ufford Arts Festival Jeremy Eyres, Nick Crocker, Tig Thomas, Sandy Greenard and Scilla Dyke.

If anybody from the village wants to add photos and files showing their lockdown experience, they are welcome to contact the organisers.

To see the full range of exhibits and find out more, visit the exhibition website.

Jeremy Eyres, chair of Ufford Arts Festival, is one of the organisers of the online exhibition

Jeremy Eyres, chair of Ufford Arts Festival, is one of the organisers of the online exhibition - Credit: Jeremy Eyres

Eliza and Polly Forgiel playing their violins

Eliza and Polly Forgiel feature in the exhibition playing their violins. They played in an international children’s concert via the Nicola Benedetti Foundation - Credit: Katie Forgiel

Clement Anderson as Darth Vader, playing the trombone, features in the Ufford online exhibition

Clement Anderson as Darth Vader, playing the trombone, features in the Ufford online exhibition - Credit: Tamsin Anderson


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