A CHALLENGE for people to create a piece of art reflecting their experiences of the lockdown reveals the range of emotions felt throughout the coronavirus lockdown.

The Oxford Times has teamed up with The Ashmolean – the oldest public museum in the world – to find the best artistic response to the pandemic, with the winning pieces set to go on display at the Beaumont Street institution.

The Artist in Residence competition invites us all to show our creativity in artistic reflections on a situation which has affected every aspect of our lives.

Responses have reflected on the experience of lockdown and being at home, things that people miss or have looked forward to when ‘normal’ life resumes, or sources of inspiration.

“There is, understandably, a lot of fear, uncertainty, anxiety, loneliness and heartbreak going on,” says Sarah Holland, press officer at the Ashmolean.

“But this competition seems to have given artists, of all ages and abilities, something of a purpose, a focus, an escape or refuge and many of the artworks we have received reflect hope, love, admiration, gratitude, opportunity and a real sense of community.”

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There are still three weeks left for readers to get their entries in.

Entrants can submit any type of visual artwork, from painting, drawing or printmaking, to computer aided design, textiles, photography, sculpture, decorative arts, and performance and film.

Shortlisted works of art will also be displayed on the Ashmolean’s website and the runners-up and winners in each category will be shown at a special exhibition on the museum’s forecourt when the Ashmolean reopens.

Entries are invited from UK-based participants and will be judged in three age categories: under 11, ages 11-17, and 18 and over.

Work will be judged by a panel consisting of Tim Hughes, Features Editor of The Oxford Times; Dr Janina Ramirez, cultural historian, broadcaster and course director at Oxford University’s Department for Continuing Education; Dr Kamal Mahtani, GP and Deputy Directory of the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine, Oxford University; and Dr Xa Sturgis, Director of the Ashmolean.

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Dr Sturgis said: “We’ve been absolutely delighted with the competition entries we’ve received so far – from paintings and drawings to computer-generated art and performance pieces.

“People are responding to the situation with extraordinary creativity – reflecting on the bravery of our key workers; things they’re missing, and what they’re looking forward to.

Go to ashmolean.org for details.