Suburban dreams: Lockdown in Birmingham

Drawings of life in a suburb of Birmingham, England.

Cherry trees, Harborne, Birmingham
Cherry trees, Harborne, Birmingham, England, 14th April 2020

The immense disruption caused by the Covid-19 virus outbreak in 2020 has, as for everyone else, impacted on my daily life and all future plans. I am extremely grateful I’ve been spared from its worse effects so far, and that all my immediate family and close friends are safe and well.

My art work is based on what I see around me. My work from March to August 2020 was inspired by the southern suburbs of Birmingham, England, where I decided to go so that I could shield with my brother and elderly parents during lockdown. It is the area and family home where I grew up, leading to a lot of re-evaluation of places I had last known when was in my teens and early 20s. I discovered it was reassuringly peaceful and green place. Drawing helped me to take my mind off the worries and uncertainty of the time, as well as a way to encourage exploration of the local area. I often never left the house more than once a week during lockdown, almost always to get food or medicine. These drawings helped to take my mind outside even when I was indoors, mostly restricted to my old bedroom.

My drawings from this period were regularly posted on Instagram, you can see the change in the seasons over the five months. Below is a selection of these drawings, all drawn on an iPad using the Adobe Fresco app. At the same time I experimented with new ways of creating art.

Drawing of electricty pylons, Barnes Hill, Birmingham
Pylons, Barnes Hill, Birmingham, 15th April 2020
Drawing of the Bourne Brook, Birmingham
Bourne Brook, Birmingham, 22nd-25th April 2020
Drawing of Birch trees, West Boulevard, Birmingham
Birch trees, West Boulevard, Birmingham, 26th April 2020
Drawing of Cherry tree
Cherry tree, Harborne, Birmingham, 30th April 2020
iPad drawing of a river and trees
Bourne Brook and Bournvale Walk, Birmingham, 10th-16th May 2020
iPad drawing of a river, trees and a bench
Brook and bench, Woodgate Valley Park, Birmingham, 19th-25th May 2020
iPad drawing of trees and flowers
Bourn Brook Walkway and Old Joe, Birmingham, 25th July to 9th August 2020
ipad drawing of wooded path
Wooded path between West Boulevard and Hollister Drive, Birmingham, 12th-16th August 2020