Salford artists are capturing the daily challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.

Artists across the city are coming together to create artwork to reflect the current situation. Some pieces are comical while others are more thought-provoking works.

Art is a way of coping and gives people a chance to escape the worries of the present situation.

Phillip Westcott, a member of Salford Art Club, said: “Art can have a very therapeutic effect during this pandemic, whether through its practice or appreciation.

“People can become very depressed at this time and doing something artistic gives them a chance to focus on that and not on other problems in their life.

“For some, like myself, it was a chance to do a couple of paintings from events that moved me; like the struggle to buy basic supplies.”

Salford Art Club cannot meet at the moment due to the closure of Salford Museum and Art Gallery because of Coronavirus.

The museum itself is currently struggling during these unprecedented times.

Members of the Salford Art Club have all reacted in different ways.

Many artists have drawn inspiration from the unusual sights as a result of Covid-19.

Mr Westcott said: “Anything that helps people get through it, such as art, must be a good thing.

“Even my father-in-law who hasn’t painted for about 80 years, did a couple of paintings using a pad and paint set that we bought him.”

The local artist explained his inspiration for his own sketches.

“When the virus first caused panic buying, I was lucky enough to be on holiday in Mexico, with my wife; a country at the time not affected by it,” he said.

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A sketch to show the worrying effects of the pandemic by Phillip Westcott

“As days passed we saw newspaper articles about shortages, but it wasn’t until we came back to Salford and tried to buy everyday items that reality struck and seeing people desperately searching for toilet rolls struck a chord with me.

“Seeing this, I reworked one of my old sketches of an old lady and hoped that people would appreciate the problems they were having.”

Mr Westcott worries about what is to come from this pandemic.

He said: “I personally will continue to do figure studies of people living their lives in and around Salford in these trying times.

A piece that represent the most vulnerable to the pandemic By Phillip Westcott

“But I fear that sadly, some of the people I will portray may not survive and it could be a long time before we see groups of old people sat on a bench, chatting happily and passing the time in each other’s company.”

Families across Salford have also been getting artistic as many are drawing rainbows as a symbol of respect for the NHS and key workers.

The Salford Art Club member praised the children showing appreciation for those doing essential jobs.

Mr Westcott said: “Involving children is a brilliant idea and it’s important as it keeps them occupied and helps then to understand in some small way that people are making everyday sacrifices in these trying times.

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“By focusing on how they can show their appreciation, it could also help some of them cope with not seeing family and friends. It can help them to feel not so isolated especially if they are going for a walk, as part of their daily exercise, they see other windows with the rainbow sign.

“Friends of ours even involved the whole family cutting out hand shapes on different coloured paper and then making a large rainbow that filled the window.”

The Salford artist concluded by reflecting on the current situation.

“We are certainly taking part in living history, which is being recorded now by artists, like myself,” he said.

“It will be important social evidence for future generations to see how the Coronavirus of 2020 affected the people of Salford and the UK.”

Many of the Salford Art club paintings and sketches are available to view online.

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