A Teddington artist left an artwork trail of A5 prints in places of significance to ‘give back to the community’ in light of lockdown restrictions easing.
Lizzy Sawkings, a graduate in fashion design, issued her characteristic work around Teddington, in places which became important to her over lockdown periods during this pandemic.
The artist left the trail to raise awareness for mental health in affiliation with the charity Mind, as part of a process of personal catharsis and development of creative practice.
Sawkings said: “Lockdown gave me this kind of opportunity to be creative again. I believe in karma and I think the best way to go about things is just to give back.”
In a Facebook post to a local community group on 15 April, the artist posted: “Over the weekend I will be placing A5 prints in and around Teddington to give back to the community that helped me get through lockdown.
“If you find one please feel free to take it home and keep it!”
The A5 prints, designed with a recurring theme of a combination of drawings of feminine bodies and pressed seasonal flowers, were left in places around Teddington such as Hampton Wick riverside, The Rec, Kingston Bridge and The Lion and The Fallow Deer pubs.
Sawkings said: “I think in this period of time, it’s all about empowering women and women empowering themselves. I got loads of messages about doing commissions.
“It’s actually saved me, because it’s become a job. It’s given me something to focus on and it’s taken me out of my own head a little.”
Sawkings also sells her designs through her business EBS design, of which 10% of the profits go to the charity Mind.
The places in which the artist left the designs were all within locations which aided her through the more difficult periods of lockdown and specified The Rec as her favourite place to go during lockdown.
She said: “I really like the idea that you wouldn’t really stumble across them unless you were going on a walk to sort out your brain and do some exercise. I like the idea that they probably crossed paths with me, and I don’t know it.
“That particular bench, when you were allowed to meet someone outside, I’d go meet my friends.
“We’d sit on either side and we’d just go in the evening and have like a 20-minute talk just to download everything, then just walk away. It’s been really close to me.
“There was just such a good vibe around Cottington, Kingston, Richmond. Everyone was like on another level of little things like smiling at each other in the street.
“Everyone’s been really good at giving that. I just think it’s a really sweet little kindness. That’s what I was trying to get back by just leaving some artwork around for people.”
Sawkings became a swimming teacher when working within the fashion industry initially did not turn out as expected; she said her swim team ‘Squid Mind’ helped her through difficult periods.
Sawkings has also been working with FullaLove, a female-led UK-based fashion company which uses 100% sustainable, ethical and polyester-free clothing, who are using her prints on t-shirts, bodysuits and more.
Millie Fullalove, CEO of Fullalove clothing, said: “Lizzy’s got such great energy and she’s just really cool. I love anything that celebrates the female body. Girl power always for my team of women. I think her mix of beautiful line work and then the flowers I think is just fantastic.
“Lizzy herself as a local artist is someone who gives back to the community and I think that’s just so important for brands, especially smaller brands and newer people on the scene. I think we really have to come together to overcome.”
On her floral and sumptuous figure designs, Sawkings said there is a connection between the flowers and the personality of the commissioner.
The artist added: “Being positive in yourself. You know, I think it just works, really.”
Sawkings’ new design line launches with FullaLove Clothing today, 30 April 2021 and to view the collection, follow this link to the Fullalove Instagram account.