As the COVID-19 rules relax ever so slightly, exhibitions (in the small galleries) are reopening. But with bars, restaurants, and travel still off the table, we are going to need occupying for a little longer. Maybe you’ve done your puzzle and scoured online art galleries and auctions, but need a new way to process art? That’s the beauty of fine art, it’s an ever-evolving industry; never still or stagnant.
For all those looking for new ways to explore art, we've rounded up some new ways to get creative. From new video art to colouring books from artists and influencers - and even an everything-you-need-to-know book filled with over 4600 artworks - here are four new ways to encourage creativity in lockdown.
Prototype Care Package
From the purely online art space, Prototype, presents a rapid-response series for lockdown: a collection of meditative art videos that engage the intimacy of film by blurring the boundaries of private and public spaces. The works are described as, “short experimental films, moving image art, video art and the uncategorisable direct.” But the reach of Prototype ensures that top quality art can be enjoyed safely from the audience’s own homes while giving longevity and income to artists.
Each Friday, the website is refreshed with new art that is designed purely for computer screens, in some cases directly inspired by the current pandemic. The videos often engage places we can't visit, soothingly and reflectively, to pull us out of COVID-19 unease.
Just when you thought you’d have to look at art exhibitions in that awkward 3D mode forever, chicane.space popped up on Instagram. Founded by Andy Boot, Jonny Niesche and Mariam Arcilla, they offer interactivity and engagement through an online art platform that embraces interviews, videos, images, and community. chicane.space was designed to fulfil a stop-gap between closed galleries and empty studios — the name of the project coming from a ‘chicane’ in the road to slow driver and encourage consciousness.
Each week, they profile a new artist. "This encourages a focused exchange between the artist and our online community while allowing the spotlight to stay with one artist at a time," says Arcilla. They began with the egg-cracking art from Angelika Loderer, who highlights the absurd, channelling this into cement-filled eggs. The final product is a clean, minimalist sculpture; but the methodology invites play and re-enforces the fragile egg into a solid entity.
#TakemeBack by Sam Holt
If you find you need a bit of a laugh while still being creative, Sydney-based artist Sam Holt invites mindful colouring that uses influencer culture in true #Takemeback vibes. The idea for the book came after Holt saw COVID-19 news and asked: "What the hell are all these influencers going to do without the Amalfi Coast?"
The artist reached out to his influencer mates for inspiration — the model posting from the toilet may have been imagined though. But while reminding us to continue in supporting artists, Holt proves we can stay #inspired throughout the lockdown; one coloured pencil at a time.
Brett Whiteley: Catalogue Raisonné
At $1,500 and weighing 25 kg, you may be sitting on this one for a while! Written by art historian, Kathie Sutherland, the Brett Whiteley: Catalogue Raisonné is like doing a course on one of Australia's most famous artists — and keep you busy for the rest of lockdown.
The book features 4600 artworks (including hundreds of never-before-published) from Whiteley spanning paintings and drawings from the 1950s to the 1990s; concertina fold-outs of his mammoth Alchemy and The American Dream paintings; prints, ceramics and sculptures; as well as essays, cataloguing texts, exhibition history and the artist's wild and creative biography. The Raisonne is spilt into seven volumes and will be published next month by Schwartz City in a limited series of 1000 books.
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