How the escapist exhibition ‘Made from Home’ aims to make sense of lockdown

Cardiff M.A.D.E’s digital art exhibition supports mental health and the local creative community during the pandemic

colourful pajamas lockdown art
Experimenting with colourful clothes combinations in lockdown. Call the Fashion Police by Hannah Short, Instagram @hannahshortart

The Cardiff-based artist collective strikes back against the mental strain of coronavirus-induced isolation by showcasing beautiful art produced in lockdown.

The aptly named Made from Home digital exhibition features works produced by Welsh creators during the pandemic, including stunning acrylic paintings, collages and digitally edited hand drawings.

Throughout the summer, the collective showcased different pieces from the digital installation on their social media platforms. They say their aim was to break down barriers created by the isolation of lockdown and unveil the creativity behind closed doors.

Art as therapy

Hannah Short, one of the artists featured in the lineup, shared with us what it was like working away from her studio, with her home surroundings as the main source of inspiration. 

Like most women faced with lockdown, Hannah found herself reflecting on her appearance and noticing how trivial past anxieties seemed when outings were far and few between. 

A newly found freedom to experiment with colourful, cosy outfits comes through vividly in Hannah’s work for the exhibition. 

But it’s not just about a shift in aesthetics. “Painting has always been a form of escapism for me and it helped me through my toughest times in lockdown,” the artist shares. Through her art, Hannah has come to terms with the situation by turning the negativity of the pandemic into something positive. 

As an artist, she is used to being resilient and adapting to new situations. “I knew that I had to keep working in order to keep some sense of normality in my life,” Hannah declares, echoing the way many of us feel about lockdown. 

M.A.D.E with mental health in Mind

Recognising the importance of art to mental health, Cardiff M.A.D.E have pledged £1 per Made from Home submission and 10% of their sales commission to Mind

Shop the Made from Home artwork.

girl with blue hair
self portrait by Hannah Short,
Instagram @hannahshortart
girl with blue hair growing out
Bye bye blue by Hannah Short, Instagram @hannahshortart

Lockdown gave Hannah an opportunity to challenge herself and tackle self-portraits for the first time.

After sporting blue hair for over two years, Hannah saw lockdown as an opportunity to grow it out and leave her past self behind, documenting the transformation on canvas.