…a remote envelope arts engagement 2020

by Julie Spollen

‘Hugs 2020’, a portable Anam Beo arts project in Offaly Care & Community settings. It is based on connectedness & communication at a time when isolation came to the foreground. As a society no hugging and physical distancing became vital for our safety. We did however know the VALUE of hugs, how they give us the capacity to share joy, compassion, impart feelings of belonging and make impossible days possible. Scientific research supports the theory that stimulation by touch is absolutely necessary for our physical as well as our emotional well-being. Hugs are portable, ecologically sound and require no specific setting. They keep rippling their benefits after the event.

Hug (hug) v.t. hugged, hugging, hugs.

1. to clasp or hold closely, especially in one’s arms; embrace or enfold, as in affection

2. cherish, hold fast

3. to keep very close to

Hug n. an affectionate embrace. (Scandinavian, akin to old Norse hugga, to comfort, console)

Hugs 2020 is a creative collaboration with @nutjobdesign and @anambeo supported by the HSE & Offaly County Council. During a time of reflection, the arts were at the forefront of voluntary sharing and skills transfer projects. The traditional postal service alongside digital capabilities encouraged us to stay connected. The HUGS2020 booklet uses the format of the modern Haiku to bring together all the thoughts and phrases people sent back in response to the year that was.