Sea Mills’ mini-museum is located in a reconditioned phone box on the corner of Shirehampton Road and St Edyth’s Road. It has recently reopened after the Covid-19 lockdown with a new exhibition of young people’s work.
Coronavirus Stinks! is an exhibition of postcards written and drawn by children and young people, both from the local area and around the UK. It’s allowed them to publicly share their feelings about the coronavirus crisis, lockdown, and the changes it has meant for them. The exhibition will be up until at least the end of September 2020.
Missing their friends, being sad, enjoying home school, noticing more wildlife and being annoyed by their siblings are just some of the issues the postcards highlight.
Eight-year-old Monty Winfield’s card provided the inspiration for the exhibition’s title. His family have been doing Couch to 5K during lockdown, and his card depicts him running away from coronavirus, screaming, with smoke at his heels. He completed the card along with his elder sister, Sophia, who used hers to thank keyworkers and the NHS with a rainbow design.
Monty says he is surprised that anyone would need to ask why he called his picture ‘coronavirus stinks’ – “because it does,” he says with a shrug. He’s very happy that his card has become the title of the exhibition: “I’m pleased and really proud of myself.”
Like many of the children who have submitted cards for the exhibition, he’s found aspects of lockdown difficult. “I’ve missed hugs the most,” he says, embracing his mum, Jenny.
It’s hoped that the exhibition will help both the children who submit cards, and those who read them – giving adults an insight into the concerns of children.
Local child psychotherapist Georgina Taylor, clinical manager at the Bridge Foundation in Cotham, says art projects can improve mental wellbeing: “When children can express their thoughts and feelings to others, in words or pictures, it can help them to process their experiences and to feel that these are valued and heard by others. It can also help them to feel more connected to other people.”
The exhibition will continue at least until the end of September, and, if enough cards are received, they will be displayed on other notice boards around the area. Children and young people can still submit postcard sized pieces of writing or artwork to be displayed in the exhibition.
Sea Mills’ mini-museum is open 9am-5pm Monday to Friday and 9am-4pm on Saturdays.
Main picture by Mary Milton
Mary Milton is reporting on Sea Mills as part of Bristol24/7’s community reporter scheme, a pilot project which aims to tell stories from areas of Bristol traditionally under-served by the mainstream media