Art Under Lockdown
Art Under Lockdown is the first solely online exhibition for Counterweave Arts. Conceived during the first days of lockdown in Italy for the Corona-19 pandemic, the exhibition was a way of trying to find some way through this suddenly upended world where human contact is dangerous and forbidden.
How can you work as an artist when you are forcibly isolated? When your plans for showing and discussing your work with others are now impossible. Exhibitions, art fairs, open studios, workshops were all cancelled with no certainty about when we could come together again.
The only way we could connect as artists, as curators, as collectors was online. So, with that in mind, I decided to make the most of this new world.
The only stipulation for this exhibition is that the work be completed during lockdown. Artists were asked to make a statement on how the coronavirus and lockdown had affected their work.
Many of us find ourselves far from home, trapped and unable to get back the ones we love. We’re all scared, all fearful for our loved ones, all desperate to try and work out what’s going on. And the best way, the only way to do that is through art.
Many of the artists in Art Under Lockdown found themselves unable to work in their usual way. Either they were stranded with no access to their studio, or they found it impossible to go on with their pre-lockdown projects. Art, music, video and talking offered ways through the chaos to try and find meaning. Improvising opened up creativity and provided a distraction from the tides of bad news from the outside world.
Art Under Lockdown differs from Counterweave Arts’ previous exhibitions: it is solely online and includes audio, video and music performances and open studio videos, as well as more traditional media like paintings, ceramics, mixed media and textile art.
It is also an open-ended exhibition. Art Under Lockdown is more fluid than a traditional hung in a gallery show. There is the opportunity to have a continuing conversation about art and how it can function in a world where you can’t rely on being able to visit a bricks and mortar gallery and see art in the flesh.
As of June 2020, there is no guarantee that we will come out of lockdown and that’s it. On the contrary, all the current evidence suggests that there will be waves of infection and we will go in and out of lockdown for the foreseeable future.
How can we as artists and curators act in such a different world where plans made months or years into the future can suddenly come undone. We can’t rely on things going ‘back to normal’. We have to create a new normal that is flexible but doesn’t rule out coming face to face with art. To reduce art to a screen- based experience would be tragic.
The internet gives us access to all the art we could possibly want to see. But it cannot replace the visceral experience of coming face to face with an artwork. That suckerpunch of being hit by a painting just can’t happen via a computer or phone screen. Every submission I opened on my email led to an exclamation of ‘oh wow!’ but I know that seeing these pieces in real life would be an immeasurably more intense experience.
So please do join the conversation. Entries to Art Under Lockdown will remain open for the foreseeable future. Details on how to enter are below.
Artworks can be seen by clicking on the gallery images above. Videos can be seen on the Counterweave Youtube channel.
Join artists from all around the world as we try to make sense of where we are now.
Be part of Art Under Lockdown.
Felicity Griffin Clark
Calling all artists! So many of us have had exhibitions cancelled or postponed due to the current coronavirus pandemic. The lockdown here in Italy meant that Counterweave Arts has had to close for the foreseeable future.
But we are now inviting artists to participate in a fully online exhibition. Show us what you’re making under lockdown. Tell us how Covid-19 and working in isolation is affecting your art and your practice.
There are two components to the Art Under Lockdown exhibition:
Art made during the lockdown period – this includes work in any medium from painting, drawing, textile art, ceramics, sculpture, jewellery and fibre art.
Open studio videos. Sending us a short video of your studio or making space, describing how and what you’re doing during the lockdown.
There is no fee for this exhibition.
The call for artists is open-ended. We will continue to accept entries for the duration of Covid-19 lockdown and will upload artworks to the exhibition space as they are received.
Email your complete submission to [email protected]
Please include the following information in your email:
Your full name.
Website and/or social media details.
Brief biography (max 200 words).
Description of your artwork (including medium and size) and a statement in on the effect of the Covid-19 lockdown on your art (max 300 words).
At least one full size photo and one detail photo of your artwork (see Image Specifications below).
For any questions about the exhibition please email us at [email protected]
Entrants must submit two clear digital images of the art work in jpg format:
a full image of the work (including edges); and
a detail image.
The image must be at least 1000 pixels on the longest side and the overall file size must not exceed 3MB.
Please name your file with your full name and the title of your artwork and the word “full” or “detail”. The quality of the photo is important to allow your work to look its best.
Artists may submit a short video of their creative space or studio. You can choose to talk about your art or your process.
We encourage you to talk about how living under lockdown is affecting your work. What has changed? Is lockdown an opportunity to try different techniques? Has it dampened, or ignited your creativity?
Videos should be at least 5 minutes in length. Separate arrangements will be made for uploading artists’ videos.
General terms & conditions
Entry is open to artists in any medium. International entries are welcome.
Artworks must respond to the exhibition theme Art Under Lockdown.
Only one artwork will be selected per entrant, although artists may enter more than one work.
The work must be an original design in which no other person holds copyright.
The entrant gives permission for photos of any selected work to be published on the Counterweave Arts website and social media, in a catalogue and used in publicity, reviews or articles.
Your email submission will constitute acceptance of these terms and conditions.
Counterweave Arts Gallery & Workshop reserves the right to reject artwork or videos.