A quick look at our Instagram feed quickly revealed that many artists have realised COVID-19 has given them the opportunity to disrupt and evolve their practice. Throughout history, many artists have taken advantage of solitude to focus on producing work.
Eugenio Dittborn created his famous works in isolation when the Chilean government was overthrown for a dictatorship. During the Soviet era, Russian artists were forced to create art in their apartments because of government censorship. This spirit is prevalent today. Artists' apartments have now become their studios and their materials are whatever they may have on hand, they have had to make compromises on colour palettes and mediums. Along with their routine, artist’s motivations have changed.
“I am trying to create one piece of art a day to keep focused, but the pieces are something I can create quickly in an attempt to keep my mind occupied. Creating art alleviates the anxiety surrounding COVID-19. I can shut out the noise of the COVID-19 world” - artbyMRC
Artists are leveraging social media as a force to galvanise a consistent practice. We have seen many experiment with their artistic routine and their practice, our 5 weeks of virtual studio visits quickly revealed this.
People have risen to the challenge that lockdown has bestowed, and joined forces to create a new means to motivate the artist community on Instagram #isolationart. Creating art in isolation is a way for artists to discover new things about their practice and share their perspective on creativity during this lockdown.
This blog will share a selection of pieces that were conceived during isolation - handpicked by our team.
Art is a voice for creators to inadvertently or directly comment on and showcase their feelings in this time of pandemic.
#1 Gera L.
In her piece “Spring time during a Pandemic”, Gera L. uses art to share how she is feeling during COVID-19. She expresses hope for a brighter future where we leave the lockdown focusing less on commodities and more on the environment.
#2 Dermang King Harriman
Derming King Harriman showcases her untitled piece, and let’s the audience know she has left New York to spend isolation with her family. Many people have left their homes to be with their family making this isolation feel a little less lonely.
#3 Chris Trueman
Some artists are still able to visit their studio midst lockdown. Although their space may be the same, the current pandemic can cause a different perspective on our surroundings and the world; thus affecting our artistic process.
# 4 Susan M.
#5 Zula R.
Zula R. started this series at the beginning of lockdown, reflecting on the body and self through this period of isolation. She juxtaposes herself within objects and plants in her surroundings. She elaborated on this body of work and experience as our “Artist of the Week 4”. Want to learn more about her work, and visit her studio? Check out her blog post https://curaty.co/blogs/news/zula-r-curatys-artist-of-the-week-iv
Olsonith has discovered that painting people surrounding them has helped them feel connected during times of isolation.
#7 Ewa M.
#8 Fiona G.
Lockdown saw Fiona move to her parents house in Leeds, where she has transformed the kitchen table in to her studio, creating art for personal therapy and bringing colour to the homes of young buyers! Select works by Fiona will soon be available through The Curaty Gallery!
#9 Reif A M.
Reif Axl Myers has produced a piece in Australia that depicts his interpretation of the Italian quarantine. It attempts to portray the spirit of people in Italy.
#10 Melissa H.
Melissa H. has been actively making art in lockdown, with her studio closed she has been experimenting with materials, and repurposing materials around the house to make art! A collection of Melissa's works are now available for purchase via Curaty's Gallery!
This isolation has shown us the power of the human spirit and our ability to inspire creativity during unsettling and scary times. As many people attempt to cope with the unpredictable state of our future health and safety, they manage to create cheerful and encouraging works. As artists, it is heartwarming to see us connect with our community even within the current lockdown. Always remember to stay positive and to stay motivated. We are all in this together.
Some further reading:
Making Art in Isolation – Talking Point | Tate. (2020). Retrieved 12 May 2020, from https://www.tate.org.uk/art/talking-point/making-art-isolation
Lescaze, Z. (2020). An Artist Whose Muse Is Loneliness. Retrieved 12 May 2020, from https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/26/t-magazine/haegue-yang.html
Willis, E. (2020). How artists are depicting the coronavirus lockdown. Retrieved 12 May 2020, from https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-52296886
How Solitude Can Change Your Brain In Profound Ways. (2015). Retrieved 12 May 2020, from https://www.fastcompany.com/90495376/5-smart-tips-to-help-you-excel-at-remote-performance-reviews