The United Art Project – ‘Where has the storm gone?’

The United Art project is a Community Association set up by Kayle McCoy during Lockdown People were isolating but creating art at the same time was uniting.

I had the pleasure to get to know Kayle early on in my dramatherapy practice. She is energetic, compassionate and thoughtful. I was really excited to see her share her work in this art-based workshop.

The United Art project is a Community Association set up by Kayle McCoy during Lockdown 1 in 2020 when she lost her freelance Dramatherapy work. Her first pot of funding came from her local council and paved the way for more ‘Art in situ’ projects. Project 1 saw 120 people ranging from ages 5-93yrs paint a canvas in their own home. Each household had a 24 hour window by which to paint their masterpiece – using their current thoughts and feelings as a stimulus. The aim – to bring a sense of togetherness and unity in a time of uncertainty.

Kayle offered the space for us to paint our very own ‘storm’. Providing a canvas, easel and paint, we first heard about Kayle’s project and then it was our turn to be the creators. The process was so relaxing. Having the individual focus alongside the connection of painting alongside other people.

Bruised World

I created a piece which I titled Bruised World. I started by using tape to silhouette an outline of a person. I then used reds, blues and purples around the figure. As I created it I thought about lockdown one. For me there was a loss of identity as much of my work changed abruptly. The world was then replaced with loss, disconnection, rules. I remember the image of the school playgrounds which were covered in “keep out” police tape being particularly difficult as I know the vitality of play to process difficult situations. Alongside this were experiences of sickness and grief of losing loved ones. I finished my painting by removing the tape and adding a yellow spiral like a question mark trying to make sense of the experience.

There are many other examples of artwork created by those who took part in this project on Kayle’s website www.unitedartproject.co.uk go and see it for a glimpse of what has happened during this transitional and transformative time. Kayle will be present to chat about her journey and her process throughout.

Kayle McCoy

Kayle McCoy is a Bradford based Dramatherapist working in the charity and community sector. Kayle has set up her own community association and would like to share a piece of her work. Kayle is one of the BADth Charity trustees.

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