Art for Life: An exhibition made with key workers

An Arts Council Collection National Partners Programme Exhibition

Discover different perspectives of the pandemic and reflect on your own in this poignant exhibition. Feel connected through art, creativity and shared experiences.

‘Art for Life’ is the fascinating result of a number of workshops with artists and people in frontline roles in the health and care sectors which examined their experiences of the pandemic and the subsequent effects on their lives.

The exhibition provides a creative record of this significant moment in our collective history, featuring paintings, photography and sculpture which reflect life under lockdown and the experiences which connected us all – from the importance of family and missing human touch, to the significance of nature and longing for a haircut.

‘Art for Life’ features specially-selected loans from the Arts Council Collection as part of the National Partners Programme 2019-22, and a variety of pieces made by the key workers who took part in the workshops alongside NHS art psychotherapists, who generously gave up their time to support the sessions. Also on display are contributions from artists affected by the COVID-19 virus.

The exhibition offers a chance to explore how other people dealt with this life-changing event, evaluate our own feelings, and find connections and inspiration to help us as we continue to navigate both the personal and community-wide effects of COVID-19.

 ‘Art for Life’ is the fifth exhibition by Firstsite as part of the Arts Council Collection National Partners Programme.

Artists featured in this exhibition: Alejandra Carles-Tolra, Roland Carline, Hannah Devereux, Alec Finlay, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Hamish Fulton, Hayley Newman, EVEWRIGHT, Barbara Walker and Hermione Wiltshire.

Kindly supported by the North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group.



The Arts Council Collection is the UK's most widely seen collection of modern and contemporary art.

With more than 8,000 works by over 2,000 artists, it can be seen in exhibitions and public displays across the country and beyond. This website offers unprecedented access to the Collection, and information about each work can be found on this site.