2020 got off to a wonderful start in our new home at SOS, a lovely bright airy space with loads of natural light set in beautiful surroundings. Two new groups had a fantastic introduction to drawing and mark making with visual artist Caroline Schofield in the early weeks of the year. Followed by 5 weeks, from mid-February, one working with visual artist Paul Bokslag exploring paper cutting and simple printmaking techniques and the second group were introduced to working in 3D with sculptor Julie Moorhouse.
In mid-March all face-to-face activities stopped at Open Circle in accordance with government guidelines. We gradually adapted to this new world, posting sketch books and a drawing challenge our to help the women stay engaged during the first lockdown.
Over the coming months Open Circle and our facilitating artists Julie Cusack and Carrie Lynam did trojan work to adapt the Open Circle programme to remote and online sessions. Everyone worked hard to stay connected and amazing work emerged, where possible groups of women managed to meet for exhibition visits and outdoor coffee.
Writer Tara Heavey facilitated two groups through an eight-week programme of journal writing via zoom.
The Social Fabric Phase II Project continued in January 2020 until lockdown in March, exploring a portrait of ‘Whats in My Bag’ facilitated by Artist Caroline Schofield, Annette Beegan Duggan, Alison O’Flynn and Sheila Jordan.
Open Circle Arts papercuts made in 2017 during a series of workshops with artist Paul Bokslag also featured in the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland, CONNECTED 2020 Kilkenny Sculpture Trail.
We reach the end of a very strange year in December 2020 having adapted our way of working and engaging creatively together, hoping for better times ahead.