Hello everyone in the last article in 2020. What a crazy time it was and I bet many of you are not planning much for the next year – can’t blame you! I realised the future can be unpredictable and full of surprises. I was very quiet in the last few months on our social media. Not because I was ignoring you, but because this year hit me really badly, especially in the last few months.
Also, because I have a new commitment, own studio, and my photography business changed directions since then a lot.
The funny thing is, when the pandemic started I promised myself to bring lots of positivity by Women of Newport, like many people and organisations did, and I feel like I failed. I could do more? But each and one of us reacted differently for 2020. And this is me.
But coming back to Women of Newport and 2020 year.
It wasn’t such a bad year for WoN after all. My mental health was not in the best shape recently and seen negatives only, but thought about everything in the last few days and what we achieved is actually pretty satisfying.
Yes, the main plan for the 2020 was to organise the first Women of Newport event, but we did many other things instead
Our first and second merch! Women of Newport official t-shirts and prints with the iconic cherub by Miss Rie. Our growing online community. Mini exhibition at the Westgate Hotel – lockdown exhibition supporting local artists. New photographed women – less than in 2019, but still something. New collaborations – like with Clare (also photographed) who is a producer of our own Women of Newport podcasts. By the way, we did one already and it’s still in post production – more information soon. Closer work with my mentor Janet Martin and being privileged to have a studio at her gallery, famous Barnabas Arts House https://www.facebook.com/barnabasartshouseuk . Amazing event organised by Newport Women’s Forum https://www.facebook.com/NewportWomensForum (luckily before the first lockdown) and some of us ladies get to know each other better. Podcasts with our friends from Record One https://www.facebook.com/recordoneuk – thank you guys for the invitation! Our growing friendship with Feed Newport https://www.facebook.com/feednewport247 and collecting £350 in cash for them in March, thanks to your generosity! We still support Newport City Ladies FC team https://www.facebook.com/newportcityladies and basically support women in Football, unfortunately we met only once because of the pandemic. Taking part in Art on the Hill festival this year and newest project – Newport Market photography and testimonials book. Women of Newport first exhibition photography book from 2019. Being involved in the Lady Rhondda project https://www.facebook.com/statue4LadyRhondda as part of the steering group.
What did I learn this year and about Women of Newport? I realised I can’t do it all and I delayed the process of registering WoN as a community interest company, I was planning to do it. It’s too early and the biggest question is – how I am going to finance it. Women of Newport is like a full time job and I found it frustrating to volunteer full time during a pandemic when my family incomes were hit so badly. It made me sad, but that’s life.
I will still try to concentrate on what’s positive and I am definitely not planning anything for 2021, and can’t promise anything. Let’s go with the flow. Are you planning to do the same? 2020 teached me to be more careful and appreciate the moment. To slow down and look after my mental health – I burned out and last month was a true nightmare for my mental health.
I had a few moments when I just lied down lifeless and stared at the walls or just slept. Maybe that’s the biggest lesson from 2020? Our own health – physical and mental. 2020 slown us down so we can stop and think.
Happy New Year everyone and thank you for your amazing support