Welcome to this online exhibition, which features the judges' favourite works of art from Schoolreaders' CREATE! competition which was held in summer 2020. We asked members of the public to show us the creations they had made during the COVID-19 lockdown - we had an amazing response and many generous donations in support of our work.
Scroll down this page to browse all the works of art chosen by our judges. Paintings and drawings can be found directly below, and you can click here to go straight to Photography, here to go to Needlework and textiles, and here to see Other Creations.
PAINTING and drawing
Winner: Thomas Brough-Byatte
'I did this collage during live online Art lessons with my school during Lock Down. The newspaper headlines and stories were all about Coronavirus. I based my collage on what was going on in the world at this time.'
Runners up: Karen Vogt and Minal Shah
'I had the idea to paint a Garden of Eden mural on an ugly breeze block wall in our church courtyard many years ago but never had the time to do it until lockdown. Plants and animals have been chosen either for their biblical connection or for their shape, colour or pattern, or just because they are my favourites.'
'We have been shielding and working from home, and schooling at home. My teenage daughter suggested we paint that evening for a fun activity. I didn't know what to paint and saw the garden in all its beauty - it inspired me and I stayed up until 2 am to complete it! So calming!'
Hugo Guinness, judge for our Paintings and Drawings category, said:
"It was very difficult choosing these and I had to exclude many other good ones!"
Harry Glover, aged 10
My picture is of my fish tank, in a corner of my bedroom. I spent a lot of time looking at my fish during lockdown, they made me feel calm. One of them died and I was sad. My lamp is red and colourful, the picture inside my picture is graffiti art of my initials. I hope you like it.'
'This is my first attempt at acrylic painting and I did a sunset.'
'I love the wild animals of Africa and was inspired by a quilt I had seen.'
'The new normal of today is how we have to video call with loved ones rather than meet face to face. My family has started to do more video calls with my grandparents, for our safety as well as theirs.'
'These drawings were created during lockdown and are inspired by my amazing safari holiday in Africa last summer, and the beauty in nature that can be found just outside my back door in Cambridgeshire.'
'Beth was inspired by a card she got for her 13th birthday and wanted to re-create it. She loves rabbits and has two of her own. Beth's favourite medium is watercolour so she let her personality flow with it.'
'The piece is called through the keyhole. It shows two sides to how you can feel and how there is something wonderful waiting for you on the other side.'
Winner: Sophie Neville
'This globe artichoke was photographed in our lockdown vegetable garden this summer after launching a ‘grow our own food’ home-schooling project when we planted carrot, tomatoes, beans, potatoes and other vegetables that were later eaten with relish.'
Runners up: Henrietta Buxton and Matthew Waring
'For several weeks of lockdown I spent the hour just after dawn skulking the hedgerows on our farm with my camera in search of space and peace. I spotted this Long Tailed Tit nest on 14th April hidden among the leaves. I looked at it most days and was delighted when she left with her young. It is her creation and is totally beautiful!'
'I took this photograph when on a walk with my mum and dad. I had to keep lifting Mum's hair up so the wind would catch it.'
'Aged 73, locked down solo away from my family, I started experimenting with scanography, collecting hedgerow plants and garden flowers on my daily walk. My grandchildren on Zoom loved my gradually improving scans. This new magic has kept me upbeat!'
'I chose this photo of a Black Lives Matter protester as the issue is still present even after months of recent protesting. During the march, I saw this woman and quickly got out my camera as I thought it would make a memorable and powerful image and by capturing it I could continue to raise awareness for this major historic movement.'
'Having more time during lock down enabled me to witness some incredible sunsets. I found it very relaxing and calming during such a strange time. The photograph I have selected was taken during a particularly spectacular sunset!'
'My 7 year old daughter got into photographing bees and other insects while spending time in the garden during lockdown.'
'When we could at last go out into the wider world again, I loved taking a walk along the Seven Sisters.'
'This image shows that there will be light at the end of this COVID-19 tunnel.'
Harry Cory Wright, judge
for our Photography
"There have been some fascinating entries encompassing a broad range of interpretations of the theme and brief. A few have a political edge and it's hard not put their importance at the very top of the list. The winning photo of a globe artichoke was, however, the one that continued to hold my attention. It is natural and strong, and surprisingly exotic. This photograph has been taken with sensitivity and love. I would love a copy for myself. Hooray!"
NEEDLEWORK and textiles
Winner: Judy Branston
'This embroidered footstool was a memorial to my much-loved dog Bertie who died in 2019.'
Runners up: Stephanie Brampton and Grace Johnston
'This project began when I wanted to create a personalised gift for my new granddaughter. I so enjoy making these stitched and embellished wreaths with found fabric and materials collected over the years. Making them has become addictive. I'd love to do more and keep finding lovely pieces and off-cuts to use!'
Grace Johnston, aged 8
'I made a weave based on the beach. During lockdown I would walk with my family to the beach beside our house. We had lots of fun going into the water, making sandcastles, playing and looking for pretty coloured stones and driftwood. It helped me relax during lockdown.'
Amelia Jane Balls
'I made a bag for my ballet shoes.
I designed the picture and coloured it in using pastels. I scanned my drawing then printed it on transfer paper. After I had ironed it on to my fabric I made by ballet bag'
'This was Lucy's first ever attempt at embroidery with silks. She designed and created the piece this spring during lockdown and went on to embroider a beautiful blouse.'
Georgina May, aged 6
'Georgina learnt to knit during lockdown when her school was closed. This is a scarf she made for her most beloved soft toy, Tilly the Beagle. Georgie's favourite time to knit is in bed after her bedtime story.'
'During lockdown I decided to try to knit a pair of socks. I like to have something to do with my hands when sitting and thought knitting socks would be a challenge!'
'This kneeler was made in memory of two dear friends who lived in this beautiful farmhouse in the Cotswolds.'
Robert Wilson Stephens
'When I was aged seven I used to enjoy knitting khaki scarves for soldiers serving in the war. That seems to have given me the taste for this sort of creativity. In lockdown I chose this lurcher for my daughter's birthday.'
'I have completed a number of pieces of needlepoint for cushions and chair seats featuring parrots and worked in tent stitch. During this difficult time I wanted to work something more colourful and flippant. My entry is worked on 1/4 inch canvas in a number of different stitches in wool and cotton embellished with seed pearls, tiny beads and sequins. I've had it framed now!'
Sarah Foot, judge for our
Needlework and Textiles category, said:
"I absolutely loved seeing such an amazing variety of entries!"
Winner: Sofia Azam, aged 7
'Sofia says this is a seaside scene, with rocks to the left, a person in the boat centrally, a girl on the right in the sand and a helter skelter.'
Runners up: Jo Newton and Onara Perera
'As I was shielding and unable to go to work I wanted to do something that would bring pleasure to others and give back to the community. I started painting stones for friends and asking for a small donation towards our local Hospital Liver Group that as a family we have a connection to because of a condition my daughter has. I was suddenly getting inundated with requests!'
'This collage is a picture that shows some of the most interesting things that happened in the past and during the evolution of the earth. It highlights some of my favourite and some of my least favourite things in the world.'
'On local walks for many years I had passed this old dilapidated bench that sits in remote countryside at the junction of 4 footpaths. I don't know how or why it got there but it is a little landmark and I have often thought it needed some TLC, so it became my lockdown project. I found a local blacksmith to help repair the frame but otherwise it has utilised by limited DIY skills!'
'My 8-year-old daughter wrote a 500-word story about a ballerina fairy, we then visited the woods and acted out the story and have made it into a beautiful book. In the story a witch casts a spell and takes away the ballerina's colour.'
'We cleared out some old files and I turned the shredded paper into papier-mache and made this bowl.'
'This was created during lockdown out of plastics collected on Solent shores over the course of the last two years and shows how we are polluting our oceans.'
'I just had the inspiration to make the furniture using left over things from my Dad's work shorts pockets and workshop, using my glue gun. My cousin now uses them as dolls' house furniture for her dolls and she is happy!'
'We were gifted bottles from the Victorian era and using an old pallet, driftwood from our local favourite beach and pyrography - inspired by the bottle titles - created this wonderfully unique and significant shelving unit.'
'Mum died at the beginning of lockdown after a long illness. I used creativity to express my feelings and grief. This is mosaic on an old roof tile, using old crockery, glass and sea pottery. Tulips were Mum's favourite.'