A NEW exhibition at Rosehill Theatre in Whitehaven will showcase an artist's work in response to Covid. 

'The Waiting Room, A Pandemic Response' is said to epitomise "two years of being frozen, waiting, being apart, socially distant, missing and being restricted."

The exhibition opened last week and will be available to view to the public until May 27, 2022. 

Janice Murray and Helen Morgan created the exhibition and both artists have very different styles.

Janice employs traditional craft and textile techniques to create modern works; whilst Helen uses acrylic, oil and mixed media to create abstract, expressionist paintings inspired by the landscape and emotion. 

Rosehill’s creative director Daniel Whitehouse says: "We are delighted to be working with Morgan Murray Arts on this timely and important project, which has enabled Rosehill to co-create and collaborate with communities on creative projects.

"The process of the project has been special, and we are delighted with what has been produced. We look forward to working with the participants on future projects."

Helen and Janice attended The Bakery of Slow Ideas run by Unfinished Business at Rosehill in autumn 2021, where they explored what additional support artists needed.

From this, Rosehill commissioned a research project that led to the development of The Waiting Room installation.

They decided to work with people who had a connection to Howgill Family Centre, where they used to run the art department, as a way of reconnecting those relationships.

Through art workshops they explored the participants’ experiences of living through a pandemic.

Through their stories and recollections Helen and Janice were inspired to use disused chairs from the theatre as a starting point for the piece.

The artists interpreted the participants’ stories but also invited individuals to create their own personal response.

The work was described as being 'poignant, melancholic but also surprisingly uplifting.' 

Accompanying the installation is a commissioned song by Mark Whiteside, AKA One Sided Horse, who also used the stories as inspiration for his music.

This project is a Rosehill ‘Together’ project commission which sets out to explore new and more deeply engaged ways of collaborating with communities and opening a dialogue about their needs, interests, talents, and stories.

READ MORE: Theatre launches new exhibition showcasing West Cumbrian talent