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CONTACT: Our artists

4th Nov 2020

Our Arts Council commissioned digital exhibition opened on the 2nd November. Contact is the work of 12 local artists and their take on our lack of human contact over the period that is/was LOCKDOWN!

We wanted to get to know our artists better so we asked them why they have used their chosen medium? and what, if anything, do they miss about Lockdown?

Ann Elson – Embrace: My illustrations express strong biro and pencil marks, that are accompanied by an assemblage of components often paper, photographs and things found to create layers of interesting textures and colours. Time with family and friends has been negatively absent during lockdown, yet time positively present to focus on creativity. In turn lockdown has led to participation in this exciting project – Contact.

Fergus Riley – Pocket-Dial: I am drawn to the subjective nature of reading images. Working with photography allows flexibility to be as ambiguous or unambiguous as you want. Lockdown made me realise the immense reliance we have on mobiles and technology. We have reached a point where it’s possible to survive, socialise and work from home. What’s next?

Grace Green – Pick yer own – Harvest 2020: I enjoy the fluidity of acrylic paint and the many layers that can be achieved. Colour is paramount both referentially and in its pure abstract state. Lockdown gave me the opportunity to see how much a local community can come together when people are in need. My local food bank has inspired me and strengthened my passion for nutritious food.

James Saunders – We Transcend: Animation allows me to add a different dimension to my work. It enables me to communicate gesture, emotion, and transformation. Its very nature of variation and movement force the viewer to experience the passing of time. All my animation tends to be hand drawn which maintains that physical connection with the medium which is often lost with digital animation. Lockdown has been a transformative period for me, partly due to lockdown. As I have heard many other people express, lockdown has been difficult due to the sudden lack of daily activity, the void that is left allowed me to think and stress about who I am and what I want to do with my life. However I was lucky enough to be surrounded by friends and family over lockdown and this meant I started to see the true benefit of human connection and how important it is to reach out to others for support.

Tick Rowley – As Above, So Below: I use paint, alcohol ink, collage and poetry in very different ways to explore different aspects that are inside me. I felt for such a complex time and feeling that mixed media fit the best. I discovered how much I was shutting myself down. During lockdown I was able to shift a lot of sadness and rediscover who I really am and what I want to be doing.

Juliet Farnese – Monday evening Mudlarks: This work is drawn on an iPad, it feels appropriate to use a virtual medium to express the virtual experience. I miss: The quiet. Clean air. Simplicity of no choice. A sparkling clean spring. Louder (it felt like) birdsong.

Elle Rose Philpot – Monotony: Having trained as a theatre designer I am particularly interested in telling a narrative through special design, artefacts and clothing. I like people to have an empathetic reaction to a piece. During lockdown I discovered the importance of understanding ones self, and from that becoming empathetic to everyone’s different needs through such difficult times.  

Sally Jones – Longing to Touch: I take hundreds of photos and I enjoy editing them in different ways. During lockdown I missed hugs and kisses from my family and friends. The distance that we had to keep was unbearable and especially hard to understand for my son. 

Selina Keedwell – Homeschool: Mothers in lockdown: My artistic intention is to raise the profile of under-represented voices, hopefully resonating with the audience – finding comfort, humour and connection through shared experiences. I love the truth, character & story that comes through via Verbatim. Lockdown has been humbling, exhausting, perfect and awful in equal measures. This piece, to me, already feels slightly nostalgic – looking ‘back’ at Homeschool. We’re living through such a huge part of history. We must capture it through the Arts.

Francesca Strong – The Lonely Bench: I enjoy taking photographs because it is satisfying and relaxing, I wanted to also try something different. During lockdown I discovered a passion for photography because we went on more walks every night as a family and our dog.  I also had more time to spare and be creative.

Jackie Curtis and Naomi Wilson – Our Lockdown: Our piece combines monoprinting, drawing, Zoom doodles and collage; these mediums allowed us to layer words and images and combine new work created together with work made during lockdown. Our five senses have been heightened during lockdown. We have become more mindful. Seen the beauty of nature more closely, heard bird songs, enjoyed the quiet, tasted seasonal local produce, smelt flowers and fresh rain. 

Alison Jacobs – The Stolford Weather Report: I’ve always taken photographs and film when out walking, it replaced my  usual painting out of doors as the Pandemic in its worse locked down state affected my painting mojo. This was another way I could capture images to satisfy my creative need without the more difficult process of painting which normally I find so enjoyable and creative. I miss the online interaction I was maintaining during lockdown, now people have got back to work I feel more isolated even though I have more freedom of movement. The Weather Report prompted interesting conversations with new and old.

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