What I did last week marks one year with new volumes released
A successful community arts initiative, What I did Last Week, which started at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia, is celebrating one year with the release of volumes three, four and five capturing works from local artists.
The City of Greater Bendigo’s unique arts program was developed to create an online exhibition as a way of sharing work and encouraging artmaking for both professional and amateur artists.
What I Did Last Week began on March 23, 2020 when artists were invited to submit one image that would represent what they had been doing in lockdown the previous week.
Works shown in the online gallery, and now in the books, reflect the creative community’s responses to life in the pandemic: mask wearing, online gatherings, images of viruses, interiors, pets and reproductions of family holiday photos were depicted in the earlier works.
When restrictions eased, landscapes and images of plants and nature became more common themes.
Contributing artists covered a range of media, including traditional visual art forms: drawing, painting, and photography, as well as sculpture, craftwork, poetry, and music.
City of Greater Bendigo Mayor Cr Jennifer Alden said What I Did Last Week was initially designed to support wellbeing through the arts.
“Participants told us how important it was for them to create and share their works during a very difficult time in their lives, Cr Alden said.
“It also gave the community the opportunity to experience the insights of an extraordinary online exhibition while they remained at home too.
“These five books and the online exhibition are now a legacy document of a critical time and place in Bendigo’s history.
“Congratulations to the 175 artists who exhibited 780 works over the course of 32 weeks and to the team who helped coordinate the online exhibition and the development of the beautiful books.”
Each volume has eight weeks of work with volumes three and four covering July 14 to November 6. The fifth volume is a final gallery and contributors were asked to select one image to sum up their experience of lockdown and participation in What I Did Last Week.
Two local designers were involved in creating the five books and the online gallery. All five eBooks are permanently accessible via the Bendigo Venues and Events website - https://www.bendigoregion.com.au/arts-culture-theatres/what-i-did-last-week-online-exhibition