Dwell Time

Dwell Time Dwell Time is an arts publication reflecting on mental wellbeing produced and curated by Alice Bradshaw, Vanessa Haley and Lenny Szrama, founded in 2018.

Curated by Alice Bradshaw, Vanessa Haley & Lenny Szrama. Published in collaboration with the Pen*stone Line Partnership.

Operating as usual

Isolation III, Isolation V by Ruth WallaceTwo pieces from a series of works made during lockdown which focused on a grow...

Isolation III, Isolation V by Ruth Wallace

Two pieces from a series of works made during lockdown which focused on a growing sense of strangeness and isolation, not only from family and friends, but also from everyday life and everything that constituted normality. Having to wear masks felt like a metaphor for the stifling feeling of a world which seemed to be shrinking and closing in.

My work explores themes of memory, absence and female identity. I am interested in the traces of people which still resonate when the people themselves have gone. My figures often blend into their background, or are partially obscured or cut through by it, as I explore the borderland between absence and presence and the idea of walls holding stories and ghosts within them.

Since the pandemic, the feeling of being absent from normal, everyday life has led to a series of isolated, masked figures, separated from their surroundings, and to an increased blurring in the dichotomy between absence and presence. These pieces are made with mixed media, including inks, acrylics and burning with a soldering iron.

This Is Life Now 2020-202? by Steven WardThis is my classification as clinically extremely vulnerable, this is my self-i...

This Is Life Now 2020-202? by Steven Ward

This is my classification as clinically extremely vulnerable, this is my self-isolation, this is my loneliness, this is my recent diagnosis of PTSD. This is me waiting for the world to start again, when the world has started again without me.

Oil on Canvas

Isolated Lives by Süreyya ÖzgünDuring the Covid 19 epidemic, people in different geographies of the world experienced si...

Isolated Lives by Süreyya Özgün

During the Covid 19 epidemic, people in different geographies of the world experienced similar problems. In this epidemic process we are still in, we have been faced with the restrictive and imprisoning aspects of many applications of technology that make life easier. In the modern age where human is objectified, technology has caused us to reconsider the limits of freedom and even the definition. At this point, this work deals with the individual freedoms and social limitations of people through the epidemic. It deals with labeling, numbering and seeing people as ordinary objects. In the study, the figures are positioned in the center and limited by a barcode. It is aimed to emphasize with figures depicted with their backs turned, that everyone is equal during the epidemic, all statuses are equalized without distinction between rich-poor, beautiful-ugly. The vertical columns represent the barcodes that we see on any product and indicate the identity of that product. The red line that cuts the columns that frame the figures vertically represents the obstacles that come between us and life during the epidemic process.

The Devil Inside Me by Amy VallanceI chose soft materials like acrylic wool, which within society relates to comfort, wa...

The Devil Inside Me by Amy Vallance

I chose soft materials like acrylic wool, which within society relates to comfort, warmth and safety, but for myself these materials create a sense of claustrophobia and entrapment through the way the material creates an environment of heat that makes me unable to breathe. By creating a large tangled mass of this material, it creates a feeling of intimidation and fear, but to counter-act this the material is soft and comforting which usually within society is connected with safety and comfort. Adding coloured lighting to the space changes the colours within the wool, adding to this sense of confusion and confliction which can be felt when suffering from anxiety. With each installation I select the space based on its cavernous feeling,

Within my practice I focus on self-reflection, using emotions to influence my decision making. A lot of these influences are linked to my battles with mental health, I choose to follow this route because I feel that these past experiences have shaped who I am today. When developing a new site-specific immersive installation, my practice, attends to the form and is heavily influenced by colour and its sculptural form, scale and material production. I am consciously drawn to bright colours and artificial lights which makes choosing my colour pallet and material come naturally to me. I chose to use the colours and lights through an intuitive feeling, each colour is chosen through how they make me feel when I view them.
This is a methodological approach that I use to create instillations at a scale so that the viewer can physically enter inside them to feel they are a part of the instillation. This helps me to create an immersive experience, from which the viewer can feel physically involved and connected to the instillation. By doing this is helps increase the sense of chaos and confusion which in turn, enhances a desired feeling for the public to feel the effects of anxiety. it is important that I do this in my work because, engaging the audience into this experience increases their understanding of mental health

Colours of consciousness by Tincy PatelIt was interesting, because it was just something that was flowing and I couldn’t...

Colours of consciousness by Tincy Patel

It was interesting, because it was just something that was flowing and I couldn’t make sense of it at first, I just was unable to stop, however I noticed certain movements and direction in the paintings either flowing upwards or in circular motion, at the time in my life I had a lot of new opportunities coming my way from work to moving to a dream place. I felt a connection to the colours too which were mostly warm and gave me a sense of fire within me that had some kind of cycle to complete some sort of 360 coming full circle... At that moment realising the golden ring and Circular motions indicating a deeper undercurrent of healing past trauma, and finally reaching to a place knowing.

My work reflects the experiences of studies in nature using photography and painting. My approach is through a sensory response emerging from a series of nature walks in and around intimate landscapes. At the core of the work is an immersion into nature and a mindfulness approach which informs both my practice and workshops that I lead.

My methodology is experimental however I mostly take to paintings and digital photography.

I have a diverse range of styles from abstract, to animation/graphics. I work digitally,with acrylics along with found objects. My curious nature keeps me from committing to a particular style or medium.

My work takes me on a journey from the time I capture a moment in nature to digitally manipulating
The image.The element of surprise keeps me in a state of anticipation never knowing how the piece will evolve.

Colours captivate me in particular colours in nature which seem to transport to my abstract paintings.
A lot of my wonder lays in the movement in nature
Be it leaves rustling or the sky in motion.
A sensory experience which I take home and make sense of in my own language.

Private Pandemic by Carla LobmierEssay about "Flip Book, March 2020" was written at the same time and as a companion pie...

Private Pandemic by Carla Lobmier

Essay about "Flip Book, March 2020" was written at the same time and as a companion piece to the visual art. The text within the art piece is quoted in the short essay.

Concentration is disciplined, requiring practice.
I am a visual artist, primarily. I paint and draw. My studio practice languished with the pandemic’s escalation here in NYC where I live and work, so the necessary concentration came hard. Making the piece, “Flip Book, March 2020,” was the means to move through my inertia and give my thoughts and hands a place of focus.
Most mornings my husband and I take long walks to Flushing Meadows - Corona Park in our home NYC borough of Queens. We have plotted a route skirting contact with people, arriving at the park consoled to be in such open space. Quite possibly, the landscape in FM-CP is the current largest, unoccupied panorama in NYC. The Unisphere, commissioned for the 1964-65 World’s Fair, has become a fixture of my study. Designed by Gilmore D. Clarke, the steel monument represents the world’s continents and major mountain ranges in relief and is encircled by three rings that represent the orbits of early satellites. As my perception of the monument changes with light and weather conditions, I am unfailingly fascinated. I drew this motif as a landmark in Flip Book’s composition, next painting an over-sized microscopic coronavirus overhead a draped torso (me). Beneath this vellum layer is a second paper layer with a painted shadowy figure encircled by text and continuous calendar numbers. The text reads:

December November Octo
Octobet October No ember
Dee rember Janu Can uary
Feb February 

March March
March Fevery January

June May April Apart May B
Maybe Maybe Jump July A
August September See

See Ember Ag
A Gust July Why

Jump June May A
Maypole May Pop Hop
Hop Hop Jump
Flip Book

The circle of our walks to the Unisphere intersects the orbit of changing information transmitting the world’s pandemic condition. The studio becomes a satellite in these rings – a space to process and make something of my finite movement.
Although my studio is only one flight down from my home floor in my building, I take a big breath, open the door, and hurry down the stairs.

"FlipBook, March 2020" and "Halo" were the first pieces I made during the lockdown in March of 2020. Each of these pieces is made in layers. "Flip Book, March 2020" is watercolor/graphite on paper with vellum overlay (watercolor/graphite) and measures 46″x36″. "Halo" is graphite/mixed on vellum with a vellum overlay (graphite/mixed) and measures 15″x12″. I found that with patience and gentleness directed towards myself, I could try to work in my studio for shorter sessions. A body of work began to build, focusing on my experience of the pandemic as subject matter. I consider these two pieces to be the foundation for the rest of my work in 2020 and 2021, and, in fact, for my thinking process for work yet to come.
Bits of language capture attention, pulsing to become visual. My pictures often contain text as a formal element, except when image and painterly considerations take over and all that remains of any text is a title. Then metaphor becomes the very reason. Readable words are not intended as any sort of conclusion, but rather provide a form for what is vague or difficult-to-describe, to be expanded in. My painting equation is elliptical: drawing versus painting, imagery and abstraction, visual layering, the familiar and the mysterious, language and meaning, inside and outside, stillness and motion, internal and external. My work is a critique of art lacking in visual mystery and expansiveness. Metaphor invites viewer private contemplation and drift. I work to create a paradoxical visual and intellectual space that privileges thinking and imagination. The beauty of metaphor in tandem with questions in an open-ended picture is a thread in the history of art that I want to catch hold of. In counterpart, this art responds to the here and the now.

COVID-19 STRESS DREAM by Peter DevonaldA life half livedTrauma of childhoodTreachery of illnessViolence of lifeSuch crue...

COVID-19 STRESS DREAM by Peter Devonald

A life half lived
Trauma of childhood
Treachery of illness
Violence of life
Such cruelty
Survive, survive, survive
But why?

Covid-19 arrives and stalks us with such furious intensity
So much death and disease and darkness
So much shame and fear and anxiety
Rumours of deaths and real deaths
Shocking reactions, illness and bereavements
Slow decline, fibrosis and devastation
There’s no way out, there’s no way out, there’s no way out

No freedom, no escape, no life beyond these four walls
Stay in, lock the door, be afraid to even inhale
For the clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) this is a death sentence
Care homes decimated, does no one even care?
This Titanic is going down, manned by a clown with frown
Desperation, food shortages, confusion and misinformation
I can’t even buy any bloody bog roll?!

All too much, it’s all too much, spiralling out of control
The centre is lost, does no one care about the cost?
This terrible panic and anxiety and struggling to breathe
Or catch a break, the nights are the worst, the demons come and get us
Can Covid-19 send demons like Death stalking and betraying us?
They’re coming to get us, they’re coming to get us
I haven’t even made my will!

Nightmare panic craziness the sheer insanity of a lockdown world gone mad
People guzzling detergent to cleanse their bodies
But what happened to their minds?
Clapping for the carers but no pay rise
Another ten thousand dead, hospitals closed to the public, waiting lists soar
Government does too little too late or not at all
The horror of TV broadcasts, daily briefings, fear, fear fear

Will any of us get out of this alive?
Will any of us get out of this alive?
Will any of us get out of this alive?

What does living even mean?
What does living even look like?
What is the terror of the new normal?

Close eyes
b r e a t h e i n s l o w l y
deeply, gently
through the nose

onto your dreams
b r e a t h e o u t s l o w l y
deeply, gently
through the nose for 1, 2, 3, 4

b r e a t h e i n s l o w l y
deeply, gently
through the nose
Hold on to the positives
Hold on to dreams
Keep our friends close
And our loves closer

Open eyes
Focus on senses
Notice the flowers and the sky
Feel hands touch petals
Be aware
Enchantment of it all
See the world as if for the first time

b r e a t h e o u t s l o w l y
Deeply, gently
The world is as it always was
Sublime and mesmerising
We'll get through this
We always get through this
Calm and b r e a t h e.


Into the new normal.

Peter Devonald is a multi-award-winning screenwriter returning to his first love of Poetry to explore this complicated miraculous beautiful world. Two top rated shows on MTV and Nickelodeon and formerly senior judge/ mentor for the Peter Ustinov Awards (iemmys).

Lasertonic by Flora LitchfieldThe body of work is called Lasertonic - as a a tonic’ is something that makes you feel bet...

Lasertonic by Flora Litchfield

The body of work is called Lasertonic - as a a tonic’ is something that makes you feel better or happier: imparting vitality and energy.

There is no denying that covid-19: has had a major impact on mental health. The ONS figures reveal that the rate of depression in Great Britain has doubled during the covid-19 pandemic.

I recognise that Art has a broader influence and I would love to share my work Lasertonic’ as a respite to our current circumstance.

During covid-19, I have become increasingly interested in human experience and the role colour & sound has upon affecting our mood and emotions.

Studies have shown that colours with shorter wavelengths such as blue and green evoke feelings of calmness. In Chromotherapy (colour therapy) colour is used to improve health and alter your mood.

Lasertonic’- is an immersive laser light installation exploring human perception through spatial audio-visual compositions. Using Chromotherapy and Cymatics principles, I create large optical illusions and laser projection map them onto a buildings and walls; these are accompanied by spatial soundscapes.

I wish for the installation to transform its surroundings into a meditative environment for quiet contemplation. The colourfully modulating laser light, synchronous to the spatially animating sound, creates a hypnotising environment for the subconscious mind, calming the senses.

I am incredibly passionate about how we can use technology and art to better people lives.

Flora Litchfield is a Laserist and Visual Artist based in Edinburgh - working with light, nature and mediation.

“Within my practice, I like to explore how I can shift space by using light. I am passionate about the crossover between art, technology and landscape.
The work I create focuses on chromotherapy (colour therapy) and geometry within nature.
During covid-19, I became increasingly interested in human experience and the role colour & sound has upon affecting our mood and emotions.
I began my career as a Freelance Laser Light Artist and Technician in 2018. Having graduated from Art College, knowing I wanted to work closely with Light & Sound, I began freelancing for a visual production team and working with lasers. “
Since then, I have exhibited my work at light festivals such as –
Light Waves, Salford Quays 2021
Leeds Light Night 2021
Light up Lancaster 2021
Laser Light City 2020


9 Market Avenue


Dwell Time Issue 1 download: (1.8MB low res pdf)
Dwell Time Issue 2 download: (1.6MB low res pdf)


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Open Call for Dwell Time Special COVID-19 Edition

Open call for art, writing and poetry reflecting on mental wellbeing in the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dwell time: The time a train spends at a scheduled stop without moving. Typically, this time is spent boarding or alighting passengers, but it may also be spent waiting for traffic ahead to clear, or idling time in order to get back on schedule.

In these are unprecedented and worrying times, our mental wellbeing and creativity is paramount. Whilst we are confined with limited social interaction, we want to offer space to explore our responses to the pandemic and social isolation. It’s OK to not be OK and anyone who has any reflections about this is welcome to send them for inclusion on our website.

Email: [email protected] with your images and/or text in editable format. Please include what name/pseudonym you wish to use or whether you would like your contribution to be anonymous. If you would like a link to your website or blog please also include this.

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Hi, lovely Dwelltime folks! I am sharing this cos I finally have a page! I am a disabled person in Kirklees (currently involved in the Words in Mind project) As part of Disabled People Against Cuts national campaign to create dual cassette recording kits for people to take to DWP benefit assessments, I have created a kit for Kirklees. It is a free kit that anyone can take to a face to face assessment and it will give you a record of what was said should you need to appeal. Don't let benefit assessment anxiety become source of suicidal feelings, we can help.
Thanks for putting on the event Dwell Time here are a few more photos from the day with Pen*stone Line Partnership and ACoRP - Association of Community Rail Partnerships with funding thanks to CrossCountry trains and help from # Northern
Dwell Time Festive Party good to see that everyone had a little creative time and made a card. Missed photographing more of them. Great meeting new supporters of Dwell Time project and catching up with those we know. Happy Christmas, be good to yourself from Sarah and Rowena of Pen*stone Line Partnership x x x
A remarkable project bringing in wonderful artists in a beautiful publication.