Artspring Gallery is opening its doors on 1st October to an exciting new open exhibition inspired by lockdown. Conscious that many artists have been working away quietly behind closed doors, with little opportunity to share their creations, the gallery has invited submissions from all Kent 2-D artists to participate in an open exhibition of work created during the period of lockdown.
Usually the gallery hangs work by its member artists and invited guests. This exhibition will be a way for visitors to discover and enjoy work by artists previously unknown to them.
In a spirit of sharing a common experience, and wishing to make connections in this time of reduced mobility the gallery has opened its doors to find out how other artists in Kent have been coping, and what they have been creating.
While the gallery was closed, many of Artspring’s own artists became creative in new ways, and created works that allowed them to express their feelings about the pandemic, or to express those things that they value, such as the tranquillity of nature, colour and calm.
Some had more time in their studios, others had to work in a different way, having no access to the places where they normally make work. Time was plentiful, but the usual sources of inspiration such as galleries and travel to favourite places were lacking.
The result is an engaging show featuring a wide range of work from 30 artists in a variety of media. Colour and nature are common themes. Local landscapes also make a strong representation. Scenes from home might not be a preferred choice for many artists, but take on a new poignancy during the pandemic.
Others painted places where they longed to be or created imaginary landscapes.
Much of the work is cheerful and uplifting, but some artists have found themselves making work to express their inner feelings of insecurity and anxiety.
Finding empathy with one another is a valued outcome of sharing work. You have only to look at the success of Grayson Perry’s Art Club, on Channel 4, to see how important it has been to share a common experience and to gain solace through making and sharing art during these difficult times.
Artspring are committed to making all the works in their ArtEscape exhibition available on line as well as directly in the gallery, but what matters most about ArtEscape is the opportunity to see art ‘in the flesh’, hanging on the gallery wall, with all the textures and nuances visible. The virtual exhibitions that have sprung up to replace real events have been valued, but nothing beats the real thing.
The members of Artspring Gallery feel strongly that this exhibition allows a validation of all the shared emotions that we have been dealing with in the pandemic. Whether it is an expression of the importance of a certain place in the woods or fields of Kent, or a quiet study of a corner of someone’s home, together we can share, understand, and be stronger as a community as a result of this coming together with a common passion for the importance of art in our daily lives.
We don’t know what the coming months hold, but we can be sure that art will be a source of solace and inspiration to us all.
You can see more works from the exhibition here
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