Mandy Beck-McKim’s Covid Life
By Steve Cooke
Back in December last year local artist Mandy Beck-McKim was featured in this column
She describes herself as ‘a visual artist who works in schools and communities. I have been inspiring people to create for 25 years working with all ages. During the pandemic all my sessions with people were cancelled and I started to draw a series of illustrations from snap shots of everyday life during these strange times my work has taken an interesting new direction!’.
At the time she told me that she had been, ‘working on a Covid life series of digital urban life sketches in contrast to the virtual nature walk I did on the Collaborate project, kind of like an archive of these strange times, bank and school drop off queues, people wearing masks on public transport. I plan to develop this work and hope to make these into an artist book or exhibition’.
True to her word she recently informed me that, ‘I am creating an illustrated covid life book. When published proceeds will go to arts for health charity ARC. I plan to create a book of my covid life illustrations and a collection of poems and stories from talented writers in response to the pandemic. Everyday people living their lives in extraordinary times reflecting a sense of community and hope! I hope the book will be an archive of these strange times recording history from a community perspective. I want people to connect with the book and recognise shared experiences of this time. I have asked for contributions from writers and poets to respond to the pandemic and my illustrations. I have had an amazing response from talented poets and writers so far! The deadline for written submissions is the end of March and hope to spend April putting the book together and plan to get the book published by the end of June’.
To fund this publication, she set up a Kickstarter and in no time at all was able to exclaim, ‘So excited that I have reached my target and will be able to publish my illustrated covid life poetry book! Overwhelmed by every bodies support to make this happen!’
People have continued to send Mandy photos and telling her their stories.
Mandy says, ‘The book will be full of lovely content, poetry, people’s personal perspective of lockdown and of course lots of illustrations!’
I for one am certainly looking forward to publication!