‘Staying In’ has offered unexpected positives, one of them is having time to think about what’s important. In these very difficult times, it has been lovely to see so many acts of human kindness and creativity. It has also been inspiring to see the interiors industry getting supportive with webinars and even a new charity aimed at giving NHS heroes, interior designed havens to come home to. I thought I would share with you some of the creative Staying-In inspiration that has caught my eye these past few weeks.
Grayson’s Art Club
If you haven’t seen this already, you are in for a treat. On Channel 4, Grayson Perry (with his wife Phillipa who also works alongside him) has created a lockdown art club at home in his studio. Members of the public and celebrities are invited to submit their work for possible inclusion in an exhibition and Grayson chats to them via Zoom on his laptop.
Grayson says he is “on a mission to unleash our collective creativity and unite the nation through art, as we live through this unique crisis”. It is honest, funny and at times very moving. It has been a huge success and all the more so because it is Grayson musing in his natural habitat. The whole thing couldn’t be more authentic or charming.
Grayson’s Art Club has the feel of a concept that had been in production for months, overseen by several layers of exacting TV management. The reality I suspect was that it was pulled together at the last minute. The beauty is though that it works and connects with the nation.
The new socially distanced format has brought some sweet videos from members of the public who were kindly told by Monty Don to send in their clips in TV landscape mode rather than phone camera portrait because a TV is landscape! Going back to basics with Monty’s tips on how to grow your own has been great for viewers like me who want to learn how to grow their own veg. Gardeners’ World, Friday, 9 pm, BBC2.
So many freelance creatives have been without photographic work since lockdown. It’s been a frightening prospect but it looks like Government guidelines are saying that photographic studios can open again on 15 June (with social distancing in place).
What is inspiring to see via Instagram is that so many interior stylists and photographers are using the time to work on their own projects, some in documentary style. I have been lucky enough to have worked with both the technically skilled Maya Linhares Marx and Bethan Reen who has always excelled at craft. Bethan has a new side hustle business Knitsandwoolybits designing and making knitwear.
It might make this post too long to highlight every photographer’s work but you can click the links to follow (if you aren’t already) their inspiring Instagram accounts. Mostly, posts are personal but there are also some which are purely portfolio.
Again, I count myself lucky to have worked with all of these photographers. We have been fortunate to have worked on some pretty interesting photographic projects in locations as varied as yachts in the Mediterranean to West End theatres.
Love Locations run by Sam Clarke in London is one of the newer location companies. I love how creatively Sam (who has years of photographic production experience) has got some of the location owners to show you how they have been spending their time during lockdown. A nice bit of Insta creativity which keeps you engaged with the agency.
Design Havens For Heroes
Francesca Rowan Plowden is a successful interior designer whose projects I have admired along with her very personable video Instagram posts.
With the full horrors of the impact of the pandemic affecting NHS and care home frontline workers, Francesca inspiringly found time to set up a charity Design Havens For Heroes, which offers the services of interior designers, tradespeople and products for free to NHS frontline workers.
In only a few weeks, Francesca has inspired a collective of interiors journalists, 350 designers and 450 brands to come together in this great endeavour. To name just a few, the collective consists of interior designers Nina Campbell, Matthew Williamson, Gabriella Blackman (designer on DIY SOS), Kate Guinness Design, Oakley Moore Interior Design, with Colefax & Fowler, Lewis & Wood, The Design Archives, De Gournay and Neptune Home.
DH4H have some wonderful trades people on board but need more so if there are any set decorators reading this and are able to offer their services, please get in touch via email at email@example.com
The Connected Series
The Connected Series is a weekly webinar set up in lockdown by Carole Annett, Interiors Editor of Country & Town House magazine. Carole says it was “to create a sense of togetherness, community and connectivity for designers and crafts makers”. With Carole at the helm, I have been enjoying an insight into how interior designers and makers have been coping with the new normal. The whole thing feels very positive and supportive. As you might expect, there are also some rather lovely ‘Zoom backdrops’ to admire too!
Movers & Shakers newsletter
Due to the virus, Georgie Pridden PR & Events sadly had to cancel Pop Up of The North interiors, art and craft event in Yorkshire. However, in true creative spirit, Georgie has since put together a new must-read weekly lifestyle newsletter called Movers & Shakers.
Aside from work for magazines and some social media interiors content I have been creating for a client, turning the veg bed at the end of our garden into something that ‘fingers crossed’ might offer some produce has been keeping me sane. Monty is right, there IS so much joy to be had from growing your own!
Thank you so much for reading, I would love to know what creative inspiration you have discovered these past few weeks? Please leave your comments in the box below.
With many thanks, Charis x