New Artistic Journeys Under Lockdown

From Planet 240

by Dylan Huw

Dylan Huw assesses recent online art exhibitions, focusing especially on Gallery TEN’s ‘From the Studio’ show. He argues that what this offers is more profound than any ‘lockdown art’ cliché, with some of Wales’ most talented artists conveying the anxiety, rage and tranquility of ‘Covid-time’.

detail from Bare Red by Sue Williams © Sue Williams

Detail from Bare Red by Sue Williams © Sue Williams

‘Living on your own is one thing, but living in isolation is another’. Thus begins the statement which accompanies artist Sue Williams’ Bare Red, a body of work exhibited online as part of Gallery TEN’s presentation of recent studio work by gallery artists, ‘O’r Stiwdio | From the Studio’. Williams skilfully communicates the new forms of isolation which Covid has introduced – this extraordinary period where time is warped in new ways – and does so in a way that resonates with the whole gamut of emotions that many of us have spent this fever dream of a year consumed by: dread, paranoia, nihilism, caution, fury. Here is an exhibition, effectively presented without frills on TEN’s sparsely designed website, of ‘lockdown art’, that inevitable new category of cultural production which probably does not inspire much excitement in many. But the artists participating, all relatively well-known in our national artistic landscape, attest to the wide variety of sideways approaches we might take to this moment of collective grief and upheaval.

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