Veil of Love
Acrylic paint and textile collage
50 x 40 cm
“Art is a great healer. There is so much to be gained from expressing yourself through art and I have learnt about myself through my choice of abstract painting.”Nicola Manasseh
Nicola’s Lockdown Story
On Veil of Love: ‘I made it during lockdown when we had all the social justice protests calling for an end to racial discrimination. It’s a collage of acrylic paint covered over with a veil of black net embossed with roses. It’s based on the aboriginal flag but instead of a yellow circle in the middle there is a white full moon, symbolic of clarity and unity.’
On Girls Leggings with Handsewn Patches: ‘During lockdown I was switching on the radio more often. I find it hard to not be doing something with my hands whilst listening to programmes, so I decided to sew patches, especially of unicorns, on leggings for girls aged three to eleven years. I had made a few in the past and found that they were popular, but over the last months I’ve had the time to make a whole range of these unique and fun leggings.’
On Strawberries with Cream: ‘At some point during lockdown, possibly from too much writing of my Corona Chronicle and too much sewing, I got tendonitis and was unable to use my right hand properly, even with it in a wrist support. So I painted this picture largely with my left hand. It reminds me of British summers, Wimbledon which was cancelled this year, and also reflects how I was eating during lockdown – healthy as in fruit, but not forgetting, like with cream, to indulge sometimes!’
‘Lockdown was good for me. Finally I was inspired to start a book – still in progress – and it’s called The Corona Chronicle. It’s a record of what happened each day since 21st March in the UK and around the world, plus what was going on for me and my community.
Lockdown improved my wellbeing, as I chose to eat healthy, walk and bike often and had the time to expand and deepen my love for making art. Despite social distancing and not seeing my family for our regular Friday night dinners together, I felt like I got closer to people through more honest and deeper conversations and I also made friends with neighbours. I loved the kindness that emerged between even strangers.
There were times when I had fear, when I would wake in the morning and feel the anxiousness that comes with uncertainty. Although I had some editing work, I no longer had any income from my life coaching clients and decluttering business or the local Our Song Club group that I run in Belsize Park. I was forced to find ways to stay calm and the biggest lesson I learnt is that the most important words you hear are the ones you tell yourself.
Art is a great healer. There is so much to be gained from expressing yourself through art and I have learnt about myself through my choice of abstract painting – do love order and value symmetry! Also I’ve learnt what styles I enjoy the most, like collaging and making paintings that come from the heart. The lockdown gave me time to be creative and to really grow into the role of an artist.
Clutter is like visual noise and a tidy room, with everything in a practical place, can make you feel more relaxed, creative and motivated. In my five years as a professional space clearer, working sensitively with all sorts of people from children to the elderly, I’ve developed techniques to help my clients simplify and enjoy the process of sorting their possessions. I love to see the reaction of people after we have given their homes an effective fast diet and they have managed to let go of what is no longer needed whilst regaining control of their personal spaces. If you would like support and professional advice on how to get your home in shape and create easy systems to maintain a peaceful living environment then feel free to contact me by email – firstname.lastname@example.org’
Text and images © Nicola Manasseh