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COVID-19 information

Current government COVID-19 guidelines in place:

From Monday 29 March:

  • Groups of either up to to six people (‘The rule of 6’) or of any size from up to two households (each household can include existing support bubbles, if eligible) can meet outdoors, including private gardens
  • Outdoor sports facilities such as tennis and basketball courts and open-air swimming pools will also reopen and people will be able to take part in formally organised outdoor sports with any number of people
  • Childcare and supervised activities will be allowed outdoors for all children
  • Formally organised parent and child groups will be able to take place outdoors for up to 15 attendees. Children under five will not be not counted in this number
  • The ‘stay at home’ rule will no longer be in place; however many restrictions will remain. People should continue to work from home where they can and minimise the number of journeys they make where possible, avoiding travel at the busiest times and routes. Travel abroad will continue to be prohibited, other than for a small number of permitted reasons. Holidays abroad will not be allowed, given it will remain important to manage the risk of imported variants and protect the vaccination programme.

Find out what the rules are

Government COVID-19 guidelines in place from 12 April

Further easing of COVID restrictions in line with Step 2 of the government’s roadmap out of lockdown will see the following in place from Monday 12 April 2021:  

  • non-essential retail permitted to open
  • personal care premises such as hairdressers and nail salons permitted to open
  • Public buildings including libraries and community centres reopen
  • outdoor hospitality venues can reopen with table service only
  • indoor leisure and sports facilities will be able to reopen for individual exercise or exercise with your household or support bubble
  • all childcare and supervised activities will be allowed (indoors and outdoors) for all children. Parent and child groups can take place (indoors and outdoors) for up to 15 people (children under 5 are not counted in this number)
  • weddings, civil partnership ceremonies, wakes and other commemorative events will be able to take place for up to 15 people (anyone working is not included in this limit). Wedding receptions can also take place for up to 15 people and must take place outdoors but not in private gardens
  • self-contained accommodation will be able to open for overnight stays in England with your household or support bubble
  • care home residents will be able to nominate two named individuals for regular indoor visits (following a rapid lateral flow test)

There is no change to the following restrictions:

  • You must not meet indoors with anybody you do not live with, unless they are part of your support bubble (if you are eligible), or another legal exemption applies.
  • You can meet up outdoors with friends and family you do not live with, either in a group of up to 6 from any number of households (children of all ages count towards the limit of 6) or in a group of any size from up to two households (each household can include an existing support bubble, if eligible)
  • You should stay 2 metres apart from anyone who is not in your household or support bubble where possible, or 1 metre with extra precautions in place (such as wearing face coverings) if you cannot stay 2 metres apart.
  • You should continue to work from home if you can and minimise the amount that you travel where possible.
  • You must continue to wear face coverings in shops, on buses and trains and in most public indoor spaces unless you are exempt.
  • If you have COVID-19 symptoms, get a test and stay at home.

 See the full government guidance

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The New Art Gallery Walsall acquires works by West Midlands artists for Twenty Twenty Collection

Published on 22 March 2021 Print

The New Art Gallery Walsall has taken an innovative approach to capturing the significant events of the past 12 months in order to commemorate a period of time which has impacted on everyone’s lives. Following an open call, which received 220 submissions, the gallery has acquired 33 works by 31 West Midlands based artists, to create the new Twenty Twenty Collection which represents a ‘moment in time’.

The works, spanning a variety of media from collage and photography to drawings and paintings, respond to world events over the last tumultuous year; from the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown, to the Black Lives Matter movement and Brexit. 

The chosen artists' work will be profiled on the gallery’s website and social media channels during this year and be exhibited at the gallery in a dedicated exhibition in its community gallery in early 2022.  This will coincide with a solo exhibition by Keith Piper — whose work Surveillance: Tagging the Other  was also acquired with funding from Contemporary Art Society, in response to the events of last year — and the British Art Show taking place in Wolverhampton, bringing significant attention to the region and further increasing the profile of West Midlands artists.

In addition, over the last year the New Art Gallery has supported five artists through remote residencies. A work produced from each of the 2020 ‘Stay At Home’ residencies is being acquired, including a sufra (or prayer mat) made by Birmingham-based artist Farwa Moledina.  The New Art Gallery is currently working with national charity Outside In, which supports artists who face significant barriers in participating in the arts, through disability or social circumstance, on providing two residencies to artists they support. The gallery remains committed to continuing to support West Midlands artists, creatives and freelancers during this difficult period. 

Subject to updates from the government, the New Art Gallery will reopen from Tuesday 18 May 2021.


Note to Editor








Quotes for Press

Sherrie Edgar, Isolation Series 11, 18 April 2020, photograph (image courtesy the artist)

Isolation Series is a reflection of people's thoughts and experiences during the first lockdown. My approach was to reconnect with others, capturing the essence of how we coped during a difficult time. To be selected as part of this call out means this work can help others to identify and understand what we went through. 

Adele Mary Reed, Instant Dreamscapes in Isolation, Easter Day, 12 April 2020, instant photograph (series of 32, image courtesy the artist)

It means a great deal to me that NAGW have acquired my body of work around cycling, solitariness and spatial exploration locally. There was a very particular feeling in the air at the start of the pandemic which felt very meaningful to capture somehow, and for the work to now be part of the permanent Twenty Twenty Collection is a perfect conclusion. As a mother of a young child during lockdown, partaking in daily exercise and finding space in the city was absolutely crucial to my mental wellbeing and creative thought and I hope this resonates with people who view the work.


Rachel Magdeburg, Expired, 2020, Acrylic on Ipad insert card (image courtesy the artist) 

It is hard to express how delighted I am that my painting will be part of this new collection. I have long since admired the exhibition programme at the NAGW and its rich collections, and the space and building are truly inspirational. 

My painting Expired was initially triggered by the wrangles of the Brexit debate, but also became more and more about travel and the complexities of this during the pandemic. 

Vincent Louis Stokes, A Family under Lockdown, 2021, pencil on paper (image courtesy the artist)

As a visual artist and resident of Walsall, to have my work belong to such a prestigious and renowned institution is truly a great honour. These past twelve months have been incredibly arduous and wearing, though through art I believe we all have the opportunity to escape, if only for a moment, and discover a world of comfort, solace and intrigue.


The Twenty Twenty Collection Artists

Adele Mary Reed

Alex Billingham

Andrew Roberts

Bailey Nock

Charlotte Moore


Cristina Celestini 

Crow Dillon-Parkin


Helen Grundy

Jessica Ladkin

Joanne Masding

Laura Onions

Lindsay Pritchard

Lucy Fiona Morrison

Mark Murphy

Matt Greenhill

Michele Harris

Neil McNaught

Paul Newman

Rachel Magdeburg

Rupi Dhillon

Ruth Spencer

Ryan Christopher

Sally Butcher

Sally Claire Payen

Sherrie Edgar

Sinéad Patching

Sophia Moffa

Vincent Louis Stokes

Yasmin Agilah-Hood

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