Arterie@RPA designs art and craft packs for travellers in self-isolation
Australian art teacher Yvette Stride would usually be in a classroom with her students at an international school in Shenzhen in China.
But, when COVID-19 led to her return to Sydney, she was placed in self-isolation in Special Health Accommodation run by Sydney Local Health District.
"Like many people, I was stuck where I didn't want to be. I was teaching my students online - but I missed them," Yvette, who's worked at the Nanshan Chinese International College for the past six years, said.
In her room at the Special Health Accommodation, she found one of the 600 art and craft packs designed by RPA's in-house creative arts and health program, Arterie@RPA.
"The art project helped me to cope with my situation. It was like a gift, during my time in self-isolation. It made me reflect on the valuable role art can play… I really think that it's a tool that can contribute to the healing process," she said.
The textile project, called Connecart, was developed specifically for people in self-isolation in Special Health Accommodation.
"The process of art making provides a distraction. We designed a simple easy-to-do creative activity to help keep people occupied while in a room during their time in self-isolation," Amanda Solomon, the head of Arterie@RPA, said.
Each individual pack contained materials, including fabric with a hand-printed stencil, embroidery threads, a needle and instructions, to make a traditional or abstract piece of stitching.
The materials are pre-packaged and hygienically sealed.
The participants also have an opportunity to display their art in an online photography exhibition.
"The project was simple but beautiful. With so much else going on around me, I was able to slow down and focus on it. It also made me feel connected to others because I knew it was going to be part of a bigger project," Yvette said.
The Arterie@RPA team has also developed a second creative arts project for COVID-19 patients across the District.
Another 750 arts and craft packs - this time with a focus on colour - will be distributed to patients in hospital and in Special Health Accommodation.
Arterie@RPA intends to roll-out a new project each month.