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‘All in This Together’ Lockdown Sculpture from Upcycled Wood

70-Year-Old Westminster Resident, Mercedes, Creates Large ‘All in This Together’ Lockdown Sculpture from Upcycled Wood

"All in this together" Close up ...

Social distancing and ‘stay at home’ measures have taken their toll on the nation and many people are experiencing feelings of loneliness from self-isolation.

Mercedes Uribe-Gutierrez, an Open Age Member is no different. But she has a coping strategy:

70-year-old Westminster resident and sculpture artist Mercedes Uribe-Gutierrez has created a lockdown art project “big enough to demand attention away from negative thoughts of being socially isolated”.

Mercedes found strength in knowing that although we are all socially distancing alone, we are ‘all in this together’ and wanted to express these feelings through her art installation.

Passionate about creative expression using ‘found objects’, Mercedes has used the back wooden panels of her wardrobe to create little figurine sculptures shaped in the letters of the alphabet.

In total she has created 1426 little relief figurine letters that are around 10cm in height and treated 8 times to form the body language alphabet. It has taken 8 weeks to put together as a striking art installation on her bedroom wall. The full installation is 3 metres wide and 2.5 metres tall.

She has since rearranged more letters to form her own Lockdown poem ‘Where is Everybody Gone?’ which has also featured on a wall in her home.

Mercedes would like to display her art installation free of charge in a hospital, art gallery or museum for a period of time.

A GoFundMe page has also been set up so that members of the public can help in raising funds to turn Mercedes’ art project into a social enterprise. The GoFundMe page can be viewed HERE.

Mercedes Uribe-Gutierrez is a member of the Royal British Society of Sculptors and a retired Art Trainer. Her work has been featured in many successful art exhibitions over the years. In 2016 she was winner of the First London Sustainable Community Award at Chelsea College of Art for her artwork ‘Churchill Gardens Tree’.

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In addition to creating the artwork, Mercedes is now receiving telephone 1-2-1 micro-business sessions from the Women Off to Work (WoW) team at the Abbey Community Association Limited (ACAL), Westminster. She will be setting up a social enterprise to create recycled art from ‘found objects’ in and around Westminster, donating tribute pieces to local surgeries, schools and council buildings. A GoFundMe page has been set to raise funds.

Mercedes Uribe-Gutierrez, ‘All in This Together’ Lockdown Sculpture Creator stated: “I have never had a project that I have loved so much. I created each figurine as individuals, but they’re ‘all in this together’ to create a flow of words into sentences with meaning. It is a representation of us all during lockdown- each of us with individual circumstances but when we collectively all stay at home or offer our skills on the frontline, we are showing that we’re all in this fight together.”  

Sascha Layne, WoW Microbusiness and Self-Employment Development Worker at ACAL commented, “I have found great pleasure in seeing Mercedes transform her creative ideas into striking works of art. I am happy to give her the guidance she needs to use her creative skills to create revenue streams for social good. Her positivity, resilience and strength coupled with her desire to benefit the Westminster community are admirable.”


Working in Partnership

Proud to be working with the K+C Foundation through their Covid-19 Appeal. 

With this support we are able to grow our exciting online programme and telephone groups to connect with even more Open Age members during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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