‘My Pandemic’ with Dave Baldwin

‘My Pandemic’ is a Barnwood Trust project that explores the experiences of disabled people and people with mental health challenges during this time of social distancing and lockdowns. We want to explore the challenges and the things that can bring strength during this time.

 

We spoke with Dave Baldwin, an aspiring and talented artist who chose to concentrate on his art after being made redundant from his career as a graphic designer in 2019.

He started 2020 optimistic about the year ahead, he had started up his own business taking commissions and selling prints on his own work, he had craft fairs and shows booked in and had started running arts and crafts sessions at The Butterfly Garden in Cheltenham. The start of the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns meant that these were all cancelled almost overnight.

“What was I to do? I had no Government support, my social interaction which my Art had given me had gone. I was locked into a small bungalow with my wife and daughter self-isolating due to circumstance within my family. I was starting to get very down and anxious, wondering how to provide for my family as well as keeping up mine, and their mental health.“

A phone call from a friend opened his eyes to the idea of selling his work online. He built an online shop and used social media to search out like-minded people and the result was that his work was able to reach more and more people.

He was able to create an income by selling his work online and is proud that he was also able to donate his artwork to raise money for over 20 charities

“My art has also given me an escape from Lockdown in a rather escapist manner. I find myself lost in my paintings. If I am painting a sea-scape I see myself actually walking along the scene I am painting.“

Though undoubtedly there has been some very tough times, Dave speaks about how life during the lockdowns of the past year has in a way created a bit of a success story for him.

 

“More importantly than anything I now have a new vigour and drive and feel I am making a difference with my Art in a way I never thought possible. I have a new found confidence and more importantly I am able to look after the ones I love.“

Coming soon… we will be sharing a video of our conversation with Dave.

 

If you would like to tell your story about life during the pandemic, we would love to hear from you. 

Please get in touch with Hannah and Alice for an initial chat via email info@barnwoodtrust.org or call 01242 539935