THE ARTISTS of Bradford have shared an insight into their make-do lockdown art studios in a district known for its creativity.

From kitchen tables to working under the sun in their garden, this is how some local artists are exploring life in the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

If it wasn’t for lockdown, Peter Swidrak would now be in Surrey working with a school and two weeks ago he should have been at a school in Rome.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

He is now creating art at home and hoping his 94-year-old mother recovers after catching the virus.

In a bid to express his feelings with marker pen, Peter has created two recent pieces which explores ‘the swirling currents’ of The River Lune at Devil’s Bridge, Kirby Lonsdale, and also ‘Another Day Did Dawn’, full of jagged zig-zag shapes reflecting the state of his mental health in extremely challenging days.

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Peter told the Telegraph & Argus: “I am finding lockdown particularly tough to have to stay at home and to not be able help inspire children build their love of art and creativity.

“Naturally I realise that compared to the illness and the death of so many, not working is a price we have to pay to help keep as many people as possible safe.

“I’ve not had any paid work for six weeks so I am really feeling the pinch financially.”

Like Peter and most Bradfordians, Joolz Denby has found these times particularly tough but found solace in her artwork.

In one piece which depicts clasped hands, ‘In The Dark Times We Have Each Other’, she looks at how people have responded to the lockdown, immediately selling the original piece to a collector in Germany and shipping dozens of prints internationally.

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In a piece depicting flowers on a blue background, ‘Hope’, Joolz was inspired by the cherry blossom in her garden, a plant which symbolises hope and renewal in Japan.

The Thornbury artist said: “Lockdown, whilst obviously a stressful and worrying situation for us all, can give a space away from normal life to think without distraction. I don’t believe in trying to make people feel bad if they aren’t rushing around making things because we all just need to get through this safely, but I find making art really helps.”

Mussarat Rahman, who is working from her lounge in East Bowling, has been using art as ‘stress release’ and looking at the clothes we wear and ‘how we carry the imprints of what we encounter’.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

She has created flags with the ‘stay home’ message as well as a piece mimicking scrubs worn by NHS staff on the frontline.

Mussarat explained: “I am finding time to be creative, particularly when I shut the world out and don’t diddle on my phone.

“I am definitely inspired by this period, my artist side has come out, and I am exploring new avenues to my art. Its a massive stress release.”

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

Some artists like Eccleshill’s Jade Marczynski have turned to nature in quarantine, working safely from her sofa by embroidering beautiful scenes of the country and Bradford’s historical buildings and businesses which now stand empty in the quiet city centre.

“Lockdown is giving me more time to focus on my embroidery uninterrupted. I have been using the time to completing a piece which I started pre-lockdown”, Jade said.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

“I have recently been focusing on Bradford buildings and businesses. Working from photographs I then illustrate these using hand embroidery. I really enjoy looking the architecture of the Bradford buildings and the features which make these individual.”

Samantha Yates, a stained glass maker from Shipley, has been creating her pieces at home as she is unable to go to her shared workspace. She makes glass flowers.

“I’ve developed some new wildflower designs since lockdown began, perhaps it’s allowed me to focus more, with no errands to run. I’m so glad its spring and we’re able to appreciate the wonder of nature at this time of year as buds break and spring flowers bloom,” she said.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

“I believe connecting with the simple beauty of nature can really bring us happiness.

“There have been so many requests to send my flower bouquets as gestures of love and support to people from caring relatives and friend’s.”

Cecil Green Art’s Katie Jones from Shipley has been creating weekly challenges on Cecil Green’s Twitter account as well as inspiring prints with messages like ‘We can endure much more than we think’.

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Wearing a sequin outfit to brighter her mood, she says: “I have up days and down days but creativity is helping me keep sane. It’s a way of making sense and expressing things that I’m feeling.”

While Ella Moore, a Pudsey art student who is currently stuck in London, says coronavirus measures have brought about 'advantages and disadvantages' for artists.

The student has been working on old school style rave posters looking at how covid-19 has postponed events and affected the live music scene, inspired by the online Club Quarantine DJ movement.

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"London is so strange right now," she said.

"I feel right now there are no excuses not to be making work. With that being said though, being stuck inside on your own all week is challenging because I am so used to the bustle of city life.

"Raving really is a state of mind."

The full virtual art gallery can be viewed using the photo gallery arrows at the top of this article.