Changescapes of Recovery Competition Exhibition


The Institute for Northern Studies is one of several research institutes within UHI working together on the research project Community-Determined Change-scapes of Recovery, funded by the Scottish Funding Council. This project is investigating how people and organisations throughout the Highlands and Islands reacted to the pandemic. As part of this, we were interested in how people in Orkney responded creatively to the situation. We organised a competition to find some of the best artistic creations of the past year. The competition was open to all Orkney residents. Entrants were asked to show us something that they had created during the pandemic. We were delighted by the enormous range of entries showcasing an incredible array of arts, crafts, painting, drawing and music. You can view these creations in this online gallery and the winners of the competition can be viewed here.

The experience of lockdown from some of our competition entrants content

The experience of lockdown from some of our competition entrants

The experience of lockdown from some of our competition entrants

'I used to do cross stitch when I was younger and decided to start again during lockdown. It gave me something to do and I'd say it definitely helped my mental health having a task to focus on.' 

'Throughout the past year I continued with my passion for walking and sea swimming.  With more time to appreciate and be mindful of these experiences they have reignited my passion for writing poetry.  I have included 3 of the poems I have written over the last year.  The first relates entirely to the Covid pandemic.  The second came to me whilst swimming around the wrecks at the third barrier and the final one I wrote whilst taking a mindful walk around the West end of Holm.'

'crocheting was a great way for me to relax and unwind whilst there was much craziness around!' 

'Since the Covid19 lockdown and being confined for much of the day to a small space I found myself thinking of my life and the journey from the South East of England to Orkney... Becoming ever more introspective I have embarked on drawings of my hands and self portraits.  The self portraits have changed from the studies of my face to prints of my body.  The physicality of making these images is a contemplative process. It makes me think about where I have come from and what has made me.' 

'unfortunately, came along Lock - down..This presented the time and space to to work, but not the financial freedom to spend.Therefore, the telescope has been crafted from materials found in fields around my home' 

'My job at the Hospital pharmacy at the beginning of the pandemic was horrendous with us preparing for worst case scenarios every day. One of my jobs was to order drugs and medical gases that we might need to treat patients with Covid and I couldn’t get any. I cried every day as I was aware that it may be friends and family that would need these to stay alive. I started playing my accordion after work in the foyer before I went home to catch my ferry every day to try and do something positive as we were all scared of the unknown enemy and what lay ahead. We are used to having the resources to help people and we were aware that there was a high chance that we wouldn’t be able to.  I think music is a great healing medium. I was totally blown away by the response of the staff and patients to the music and I have been playing at lunchtimes ever since. To hear all the stories of how such a small act made a difference to folks well being is very humbling and personally I have overcome my performance anxiety because I had to put the needs of others first.

We were very fortunate here in not actually experiencing the worst case scenario but mentally we all went through it and we still cry but a lot of people say the music reminds them of happy, normal times....For the last six months, one of my main jobs has been to order, look after and distribute the Covid vaccines, this has had a positive effect on morale as I feel as though we are physically fighting' 

'An unexpected result of this project was it essentially “punctuated” the year for me. The normal markers such as vacations, events, meeting people, parties etc. had been removed and one day seemed to roll into another until the blog. As I researched everyday things that I had just took for granted, my awareness of my surroundings increased many fold.' 

Short Stories and Prayers content Barbara Todd 'Burgar Hill Stone'John Butterfield 'One Day' CommendedKate Barrett 'Spring Came Today'Mary Lennie 'Lockdown in Sanday'Mary Lennie 'Lockdown in Sanday'Piers Cain 'The Curlews of April'Simona Cain 'Magic & Majestic'Anita ParkGail DrinkallHelen WailooJackie BuchanMark CookMegan FoubisterNorah BowmerSue Casely Winner of 2nd PlaceMirran Hall - CommendedMolly Shearer 'Voar'Alistair Wilson 'Tony'Antony HodgsonCaorunn MitchellCaorunn MitchellJamilla GarrettJennifer DaviesKailey Layne StovallKatie Ann HarcusMirrian HallSue Taylor 'We Drew Birds'Vicki Redpath-Watson 'Introspection'Chris CaselyKaylie ArchibaldLynn BartlettPam WoodcockSarah WylieWillie Buchan