"I’m Nat, I am a member of Headway Coventry and Warwickshire I have been medically shielding since March 2020 and know what it feels like to be isolated. During a lockdown I knew other people were also feeling isolated, and I just wanted people to feel needed and wanted to try and help them feel not as lonely.
"I decided to make a huge art piece from asking people to decorate a square of paper or fabric with something they like or wanted to share. I wanted them to just feel they could be part of something even though they were cut off from everyone. I wanted all the squares to be the same size to show we are all equal.
"I found a quote that really summarised why I wanted to do this I wanted people to know…
You are important and you matter
Your feelings matter
Your voice matters
Your story matters
Your life matters
"The project has given me so much over the last year, every square has someone’s story and has been done with so much love. I have felt like I have got to know all of these people and through this I have been invited to other groups on zoom.
"From doing this I have gained more friends and even though I haven't been able to leave the house I have gained lots of new friends which has just been amazing.
"I have had people in tears thanking me for involving them because they have felt and maybe still feel so hidden away, I really want to be able to show all these people that they really do mean something to other people too and that they really do matter.
"I have also been in tears at some of the stories people have shared with me, it has felt such a privilege.
"It became a real community effort where people from different groups and charities came and collected packs and dropped them off at our front door and became involved. Headway helped to make packs, collected and delivered them out to their shielding and isolated members, universities, mums with babies born in lockdown, children of parents who have been or still are shielding along with friends I know who are housebou
"I am classed as housebound but I can still do what I can to be a friend to others and my community. I created this in my own house, and felt a huge sense of responsibility in that I have been given amazing work from so many peoples that I wanted other people to see.
"The theme I chose was a huge tree, nature and my garden has been my world and means everything to me, so I decided to base it on Cofa’s tree. Cofa’s tree formed the origins of Coventry, my tree is a modern day tree made entirely from artwork from the community. People who may not be visible, but who still form the heart of the city.
"It is to remind everyone we may not always be out and about in society but we are all valued, important and not to be forgotten. We all have our stories and all matter.
"Each square has been designed and created in our own homes by 280+ members of our community who have been or are medically shielding, isolating, quarantining or staying at home during the pandemic. The ages of people involved range from babies born in lockdown to a lady aged 102.
"Headway members all got together and took my art work to be exhibited in an art gallery in Coventry, they made a video about the journey of my tree."
'Planting a seed of thought' is now in Coventry Central Library.
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