Arts-Based Workshops With Children During Lockdown: Shifting From Offline to Online

Satchwell, Candice orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-8111-818X (2022) Arts-Based Workshops With Children During Lockdown: Shifting From Offline to Online. In: SAGE Research Methods: Doing Research Online. SAGE. ISBN 9781529603637

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When outdoor arts-based research activities were put on hold due to the pandemic in 2020–2021, a shift to online workshops became a serious consideration. But this shift required some substantial rethinking. The original plans for our UKRI project entitled Connecting disadvantaged young people with landscape through arts involved groups of children and young people in outdoor settings working with artists to co-create sculptures, artwork, music, poems, and stories. Our aim was to bring children and young people into areas of nature relatively close to their homes, which they may not have previously visited, and to help them connect with the landscape through these various artistic practices. The workshops we had intended to conduct would have been in groups, outdoors in areas of nature, with physical contact between participants.

The pandemic, which prevented normal activities from continuing, highlighted the limited realities of many young people’s lives, further diminishing the activities available to them. This realization meant that we should not pause our research but find new ways of continuing it. So, we paired up with a charity that worked with children in need and their families. Through the charity, we could access some children whom the charity workers thought would benefit from art-based activities.

The artist, who had been commissioned originally to do outdoor arts workshops, was willing to try a new approach using the online platforms that the charity already used to communicate with the children. There were challenges and highlights, providing some insight into fundamental similarities and differences between face-to-face and online research with children.

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