It opens to the public on Friday, January 21.
The cathedral invited anyone who made art during the Covid-19 lockdowns, or in response to the pandemic, to enter their work.
The response has been huge and it is expected that around 300 works of art will be included, ranging from pictures inspired by NHS workers, to illustrations of the natural world, to depictions of the isolation that lockdown caused. The exhibits range from paintings, drawings and collages, through to sculptures, models and even items of clothing and a puppet.
All the works show the creativity and imagination of the makers.
Virtual Hugs by Sally Malloy used the soft texture of needle felting to show the bright digital icons of the apps connecting her with family and friends during lockdown. Philippa Bandurek Bradbury captured her young son’s loneliness in A Little on the Lonely Slide.
The picture shows him alone on his garden slide, drawn on top of the music for the song A Little on the Lonely Side, reminding us of the power of music to express our feelings.
Amongst the 3D artworks are Hairy, Harey times – Mad March 2020 by Viv Scone. Explaining her decision to make a hare on a scooter she says: “It was a nod to the times being out of joint and wildlife (real and imaginary) behaving differently and ‘badly’ (such as the Llangollen goats)”. In common with many of the other artists, she describes how the restrictions of lockdown resulted in “a unique period of creative energy”.
One of the most moving items to be included in the exhibition is a beautifully knitted blanket made by Vivien Stevenette as a way to ‘de-stress’ whilst nursing her husband, who was terminally ill, during the first lockdown.
She says: “Whenever Gareth slept and I had a little time I would knit another square. The blanket is a reminder of that time but it wasn’t all sadness, we were very close and spent lovely times together”.
The exhibition will be on show in the Cathedral from January 21 until February 18. It is supported by a Near Neighbours Partner Grant, under the Covid Relief Funding called ‘Surge’.
Cathedral opening times are usually 10am – 4pm Monday to Saturday, and 12 noon until 3pm on Sundays. Times sometimes change and visitors are asked to check here before visiting. Donations are invited on entry to the Cathedral.
On Tuesdays - January 25; February 1, 8, 15 and March - there will be Coffee, Craft and Conversation drop-in sessions at the Cathedral, from 10.30am to 12.30pm.
These informal craft sessions, led by Cathedral guide and local artist Lynne Collins, will make crafts inspired by the art, architecture and stories of the Cathedral. For more information please visit www.peterborough-cathedral.org.uk/143/section.aspx/142/ccc