Settle, a delightful market town in the Yorkshire Dales, has a thriving U3A of 410 members and 42 active groups, 20 of which are currently using Zoom.
Due to the coronavirus lockdown the committee wanted to encourage new ways for members to engage and use their unexpected available time.
Sue Simpson, our Art Appreciation group leader, suggested an exhibition to be called “Inside Looking Out”. The initial idea was to record everyday life in Settle during lockdown, to keep a record of this unique historical event through drawing, painting and art works, writing, poetry, photography and handcrafted items of members. So Settle District U3A decided to set up an on-line exhibition for members to exhibit what they created during Covid-19.
The committee invited members to submit images of their creations to be posted in the various rooms of the online gallery set up by group co-ordinator, Jeanne Hine. These were then allocated to one of the ‘Halls’: Artwork, Craft, Writing and Photography. Items that did not easily fit the designated categories went into the ‘The Room of Requirement’.
Fracture’, by Marie Lenehan-Jacobs portrayed the idea of our fragmented lives in these times. While Annie McGregor created this wall hanging of favourite places which she was unable to visit. Paul Slegg’s sketchbook shows the Butcher’s Shop in deserted streets, where usually, on Tuesdays, the market is bustling.
The many handicrafts showcase the great and varied skill of the U3A members. Member, Janet Rougvie, is pictured here wearing one of her facemasks with a hidden filter pocket! Pictured also are ‘Teddies for Tragedies’ by Shirley Ellison and Dorothy Hemsworth’s local Highland Cattle on the fells—because she missed visiting them so much.
We are invited to linger in the “Hall of Writing” where real gems may be found, including a letter from Bess, a dog confined by Covid, wonderful poetry and very real observations on life during lockdown. That our members have used their time so creatively has been a real inspiration.
See the exhibition here.
When this is over and life can get back to normal the committee intends to create a special exhibition of all the work produced by our members, showing that U3A really does stand for Learn, Laugh and Live even in adversity.