2020 vision: what symbolises the year of Covid for you?

A giant book sanitiser, a glittery disco ball and a hunk of home-made banana bread are among a list of weird and wonderful things set to appear in a virtual exhibition due to take place in the new year.

This picture of a bicycle was sent in to the Museum of 2020 project, organised by the Young Foundation, for inclusion in a virtual exhibition showing what got people through a year defined by the coronavirus pandemic
This picture of a bicycle was sent in to the Museum of 2020 project, organised by the Young Foundation, for inclusion in a virtual exhibition showing what got people through a year defined by the coronavirus pandemic

Other masterpieces show a beloved bike, a saggy chair, trusty wellies and a favourite bench.

The items are among an eclectic array of objects featured in photographs sent in by members of the public to demonstrate what has kept them going through tough times sparked by the coronavirus pandemic.

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The works have been submitted as part of the Museum of 2020 project, organised by the Young Foundation.

Jillian Pitt sent in this picture, writing: "This pair of wellies have kept my spirits up during this year. I have happily trudged through mud and watched the seasons change."

The charity has launched the online gallery as part of a new campaign to explore how relationships with ‘stuff’ have changed over the past 12 months and how people have come to understand collective experiences through objects rather than discussion.

Now organisers are asking for more people to send in pictures of things that symbolise 2020 for them.

It could be anything – a cup of tea, a face mask, a cookbook that provided mealtime inspiration while restaurants were closed, a new baby, an old record player or the view from where they live.

The more creative – or bizarre – the better, and anyone can get involved.

Michelle Graabek chose an unusual item, saying: "I feel like the book sterilisers our university library bought are iconic Covid-19 contributions to Museumof2020."

All you have to do is upload and share your image on social media, using the hashtag #Museumof2020, and explain why that object sums up this past year.

Helen Goulden, chief executive at the Young Foundation, said: “2020 has been a year of immense upheaval, loss and change for everyone, and this has changed the things and objects we value.

“It has meant us needing and relying on things that we wouldn’t have imagined before Covid-19 came along.

“Masks are the most obvious example of this. But we know that there are thousands of other objects which have taken on a new meaning for people in 2020.

“Those objects will be different, because of people’s different and unequal experiences of the pandemic – and we’d love you to share yours.

“What will you put in the Museum of 2020?”

The Young Foundation's mission is to help develop better connected and stronger communities across the UK.

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