A creative project involving people living with Type 1 diabetes and healthcare professionals with a specialism in the condition has provided some welcome respite from the coronavirus pandemic, as well as a powerful reminder that people of all ages and backgrounds living with Type 1 have a remarkable array of talents.
Art1st, instigated by Professor Partha Kar, National Specialty Advisor for Diabetes at NHS England, began in late 2019. Partha proposed a live event to showcase the talents of people with Type 1 in the visual and performing arts, to be held in June 2020 but was put on hold as the virus took hold in the UK.
The organising group – Agnieszka Graja, Peter Davies, Partha Kar, Rosie Dennington, Ros Gray, Abbey Cortazzi, Lydia Parkhurst, Adrian Long, Lis Warren, Benjamin Byrne, Sarah Ali Racanière, Nichola Copeland and Jazz Sethi – quickly established an online event for people to submit their work and share with a wider audience.
Hundreds of top-quality submissions were received from across the UK and as far afield as India, the USA and Canada, including drawing, painting, sculpture, crafts, photography, music, dance, fashion and poetry, which were showcased every day for two months. The social media channels and website received thousands of visitors, and the website will remain open, providing a permanent showcase and a reminder of the talents of this supportive and sensitive community.
A live event is still planned and will take place in central London when appropriate, featuring some of the best visual material alongside live poetry, music and dance performances.
Art1st can be found at: www.art1st.life