The Lettering Arts Trust shares with us the message that carved rainbows have been carrying during lockdown…
At the start of Lockdown rainbows started to appear in windows, originating in Ipswich in Suffolk and quickly trending across the land as a sign of hope. Together with regular Thursday evening clapping for thank the NHS and frontline workers, the rainbows have brought communities together. When Lockdown is lifted and life returns to a new ‘normal’ we will look back and the rainbow will be the sign of these times.
As a permanent mark of respect and showing their gratitude in a unique artform ,several lettering artists – from Wiltshire to Norfolk, Scotland to Hampshire – have hand- carved rainbows into stone. These small, unique artworks depict the rainbow literally or use the seven colours of the rainbow to match the sentiment, whilst other works are beautiful quotations.
The hand-carved rainbows are for sale under the auspices of the Lettering Arts Trust and 10% of the proceeds will be donated to Our Frontline, a charity supporting the mental health of key workers working on the frontline against the Coronovirus.
Stone has been in short supply since the quarries closed during Lockdown, so the lettering artists sourced off-cut material they found in their studios. Stone carving is a precious heritage craft. Having traced their design onto the stone, using a dummy (special hammer) and chisels, artists spend hours carving the outline and incising the incrementally deeper V-cut to achieve the desired effect of the design in stone.
‘There are so many people who have put themselves on the frontline to care for the community, from health workers to teachers, from care workers to refuse collectors. I hope that these artworks will become permanent tokens of appreciation for some unsung heroes – a little personal thank you.’ Says artist and stone-carver Charlotte Howarth.
It seems fitting that these carved rainbows are the initiative of The Lettering Arts Trust – a Suffolk based arts organisation, as the idea for the rainbow campaign that captured the nations’ imagination also originated in Suffolk when Ipswich resident Crystal Stanley
started the ‘Rainbow Trail’ facebook group at the start of Lockdown. The rainbow motif has been used as a sign of hope.