When a baby is born, so is the mum, and perhaps the dad too.
We look at multiple pressures and anxiety among young adults, especially expectant parents and parents struggling for balance in their lives at this time of so much change. The Stanley and Audrey Burton Gallery has a long history of engaging with art for social action and we want toreach out to a diverse audience of young parents in the UK, China and beyond. We chose to base our outreach project on the experience of two paintings with the theme of ‘Mother and Child’ by the artists Meninsky and Lessore. Inspired by stories and creative artworks from four families, a series of collage posters have been designed to convey the emotions inspired by the paintings, communicatingthe healing power of art.
Art heals, as a therapeutic medium, enabling us to remember hope and happiness, appreciate sorrow, deepen self-understanding, rebalance our life and grow. We hope you, as new parents or parents to be, could be inspired and enlightened by these stories and artworks during a time of uncertainty.
Stanley and Audrey Burton画廊在艺术促进社会改变上有着悠久的历史。由于受到Stanley and Audrey Burton画廊中两位艺术家Meninsky和Lessore的两幅以“母亲和孩子”为主题的画的启发，我们联想到身陷于更迭变换的时代，许多年轻人被繁多社会问题所困扰，特别那些即将作为准父母的夫妻，身处工作与生活的多重压力下，容易产生焦虑与压力。我们因此而萌生了创作这个展览的想法。该展览邀请了来自英国、中国等国家的年轻父母作为参与者，尝试通过艺术疗愈的概念帮助他们缓解焦虑不安的情绪。受访的四个家庭的故事和他们创作的艺术作品为我们的项目提供了灵感，我们设计了一系列的海报来记录他们在艺术疗愈中的感受和想法，以及我们希望传达的艺术疗愈的力量。
Wang Zheng describes his parenting life as like the colour of the Pacific Ocean.
An oil painter and a PhD student in the Central Academy of Fine Art, Wang Zheng is also a four-year-old girl’s father.
During his childhood, living near to the airport, aeroplanes were always part of his life. After growing up, he met a young lady who worked in an air crew and they got married. Flights are somehow special symbols in his life, recording his youth and also bringing his love into his life. After having their daughter, happiness like a colourful sunshine is forever shining for these young parents. Every time Wang Zheng talks about his baby girl, it’s as if he’s seeing her through colourful sunshine.
As a professional artist, creating art is his everyday life. He is constantly deepening his understanding of art. He believes art lets people record the stories in their hearts and allows them to express them freely and creatively.
Paul and Hailey name themselves 꽃부리 “Flower couple in Leeds”.
Paul is pursuing his master’s degree at the University of Leeds, while Hailey is dedicated to the art and aesthetics of being a florist.
Hailey considers flower design and arrangement as sculpture, playing with colour, textile, shape and space. It invokes her memories of how she began the journey of healing, where bouquets and their fragrance eased her stress from a heavy workload, always bringing joy to life. Therefore, they share their life of flowers through their YouTube channel꽃부리to bless more people.
In the eyes of Hailey, Paul has the perseverance and unyielding quality of tulips. Covered with snow, tulips endure the bitter winter cold before blooming most gorgeously in the spring.
However, the pandemic outbreak makes them deeply concerned about the uncertain future their child might be facing. In spite of this, they still hold to a strong faith and are happy to be expectant parents at this time. This couple imaginatively associate their future child with Lemon Yellow in sunny spring and Pacific Blue, with good wishes of joy and wisdom. You might feel refreshed when looking at the artwork – a child with a smiley face holds flowers, dancing in a cradle of hope.
Zenko and Hue Ling have three lovely children who are strongly encouraged to explore their own special colour-represented personalities. As a result, their eldest son has brought his imaginative world from his mind to make maps, creating an entirely new world and languages. Their daughter loves to writes poems and stories and to draw letters by hand beautifully.
As a mother, an interior designer, and a homeschooler, Hue Ling loves to share her passion, experiences and knowledge about art and design with her children not as a subject, but rather an ongoing lifestyle to create solutions in life. After moving as a family to a new country, Hue Ling felt emotionally challenged in overcoming this. Zenko as an IT engineer came up with an idea of co-creating an App “Color Matters” with his wife. This colouring App has been helping so many adult users to find enjoyment, calmness and sense of self by colouring artworks from artists around the world. At the same time, it has strengthened the bond between this husband and wife.
The couple believe that everyone is unique and parenting is to help the children to understand the Art of Life first：Who Am I and where Am I going? By finding their own true colours, later they can create something authentic that comes from their heart no matter what art medium is used.
因此在这个由艺术和爱纽系在一起的家庭，爸爸Zenko and 妈妈Hue Ling 不断鼓励三个孩子探索自己珍贵而独特的“专属色”，大儿子把脑袋美好的想象世界跃然纸上，绘制独一无二的地图，并且发明全新的语言体系。女儿自由写诗，书法和科幻小说。Hue Ling 坚持在家教学，身为室内设计师的她不断与孩子分享自己对于艺术的热诚，美学知识和经历。
全家人移民到新的国家之后，妻子抑郁情绪也让丈夫担心起来，作为软件工程师的Zenko决定创建一款电子涂色绘本App：Color matters ，帮助非艺术背景的普通人在涂色中治愈心灵，享受乐趣的同时找到自我价值。夫妻二人之间在共同运营App过程中关系变得更加紧密，也从用户和亲友的反馈中得到许多安慰和鼓励。他们相信父母的责任就是帮助孩子认识自己，了解自己，找到独有的颜色和风格，真实地表达自己的情绪和想法，不管用任何艺术媒介，他们都能描绘属于他们独特的未来。
Holly gave birth to her baby girl Amelie in April 2020, during the pandemic crisis, making it unforgettable for her family. This challenging situation further taught her to be grateful for life, especially for becoming a mother.
Surrounded by family and friends, who are thoughtful and creative, she feels beloved from the bottom of her heart. It is sweet to see that so many gorgeous gifts were created for this family, like a hand-made embroidered ball, knitted doll, handicrafts, cards, poems and a collage of photos…
Serendipitously, Holly found a knitted rainbow left on a park bench – as a reminder of the day before Amelie was born, it brings hope to Holly and helps her to leave her fears behind to better embrace this new season of life. Although taking care of her baby girl is tiring, she still tries to record the baby’s growth every day and celebrates every breakthrough in her life.
Working as a website designer and a creative strategist, Holly and her partner Mike cherish art as it heals souls invisibly, letting them reflect on life and appreciate it since art is always a part of ‘who we are’. Getting through this tough period, they would love to bind the whole family tightly together by taking part in more creative activities in the future.
Project design: Sixing Sun, Tao Xu, Ximing Chen, Yarong Wang, Yimeng Wen, Yufei Qiu.
Outreach & coordination : Yimeng Wen, Ximing Chen, Tao Xu
copywriting: : Sixing Sun, Ximing Chen, Yimeng Wen, Tao Xu, Yufei Qiu
Poster design: Yarong Wang
Poster copywriting : Ximing Chen
Marketing liaison：Ximing Chen
Technical liaison :Yarong Wang, Yufei Qiu
Administration: Sixing Sun