New Beginnings: Starting the Creative Pathways Bursary in Lockdown


I have been so delighted recently to announce that I have been awarded with a Creative Pathways Bursary a fantastic initiative from Somerset Art Works to support emerging artists, I am so excited about what this entails and not least the chance to really expand my art practice and my understanding of it.  This feels like a bit of a landmark event and so strange to be starting it under lockdown circumstances.  I have included here below text from my first post on the Somerset Art Works Artist Development blog and will aim to keep some updated going here.  If you would like to see more regular sketches ideas and discoveries then my Instagram account is like my online sketchbook and you can find me @jess.egan.art




It’s been a strange time recently hasn’t it...   understatement of the century.   And what feels like it might be the strangest year to be a Creative Pathways artist.   My first ever Zoom experience was the interview for the bursary back in the first weeks of lockdown; and potentially all the more nerve wracking for that.  Creativity in recent months has ebbed and flowed but being involved with Somerset Art Works and aiming forwards in a project has been an unexpected lifeline.   

The project that I had in mind for this year and had decided to focus on and develop with the Creative Pathways bursary is essentially about Place and Wellbeing in my art.  On the one hand a fortuitous choice, it has encouraged me to be mindful of my mental health and how my creativity helps with that and on the other hand a very reflective one as I have been thinking about the places that I would usually be visiting to explore and absorb and feel good and obviously haven’t been able to do so.

I have gone about these early stages of the project and early weeks of lockdown by planning, experimenting and writing.   I gather my sketchbooks and photographs and found objects from previous excursions around me... I’ve included an image here of some of the work gathered so far.  My sketches and notes are scattered at the moment, a bit like my thoughts on a day to day basis in lockdown, but here I am exercising a little control and pulling everything together, organising, tidying;  a coping mechanism perhaps.   I am feeling grateful this thread is here to pull at and occupy me and remind me of all the places out there in the landscape waiting for me.


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