Online exhibition from September 21, 2020
“Instructions for living a life:
Tell about it.”
Mary Oliver: Sometimes (excerpt 2008)
When the life we each plan for 2020 and beyond is turned upside down by a global pandemic, how do we respond? Everyone reacts differently but for many the period of ‘stay-at-home’ is one of deeper reflection; an experience of renewed awareness. What have you become more aware of?
"One's destination is never a place, but rather a new way of looking at things.“ Henry Miller (1957)
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Meet The Artists
When you offer the world your clear attention you find a stillness amongst all the distractions. It feels like coming home.
In the current climate of Covid, it has become imperative for visual artists to become aware in new ways. I have been more observant at what is going on at my feet.
These images, created since we have been experiencing social isolation, give that sense of loneliness and confusion on both sides of the lens.
Túir Faire (Watchtowers) is part of an ongoing body of work that looks at the Army Watchtowers of South Armagh. I live on the border, between N. Ireland and R.O. I and during lockdown, as a worker based in N.I, it became apparent that COVID was the new BREXIT.
During lockdown my flat was struck by lightning, my partner’s ears rang and I sat there in shock. The light was extraordinarily bright; it went on perhaps for a split second but felt like 30. The after effect of a near-death experience felt like ecstasy and shock all mixed into one. Researching lightning and the spiritual meaning intrigued me, I felt awoke like there was a shift on my spiritual plane, I gained a heightened sense of sound as well as visually. I wanted my work to convey what we had learnt after our near-death experience during a time which is already unsettling all over the world not just with covid-19 but with the political unrest which is coming even more so than before. If each of us changes within, only then can change occur.
Throughout the pandemic, I walk regularly and find wild flowers I have never noticed before.
The cycle of plant seasons continues. Hope in a natural form that pushes the grim news to one side. Each plant has healing properties relevant to our global search for Covid 19 therapeutics.
Lock-down has forced us to drop everything and take an internal journey, whilst others are on the front line. Outside life stagnant forcing us to slow down and explore our deepest hidden feelings
Through these pieces I aim to transmit these sentiments by adding gold to resemble time gone by and fix emotions, turning the Covid19 experience into a visually beautiful thought, one we will never forget.
Being confined at home during the lock-down, I was given the time to refocus on the beauty of nature.
The work explores the often unseen/overlooked beauty and diversity of plant life in the undergrowth using a limited palette of greens, representing hope, growth, harmony and safety. This work is about going back-to-basics, to embrace the small things in life, appreciate nature and be inspired by her resilience and ability to regenerate.
I am fascinated by the natural world, how we connect to it and how we have engaged with it throughout history as a way of deepening our understanding and seeking transcendence.
Recent events have brought to the fore how important our connections with nature are and this is something I continue to explore.
We now have more time on our hands to observe and contemplate our lives and the things Immediately surrounding us. When all the distractions are gone – the job to go to, the restaurant to eat in, the pub to drink and socialize in you’re left with the objects, the streets And the people around you. My latest work is a series of meditations – a moment in time Contemplated and recorded for what it is.
During lockdown I found myself slowing down and spending more time outside and in nature.
I realised that we move so quickly in our lives that we don't appreciate what we have already and what is just on our doorstep. My work has links to nature as I like to mimic textures found naturally like thorns.
Isolation is a study in our inevitable sense of being alone in our present circumstances.
The vicissitudes, the ‘ups and downs’ of emotions become a centering force holding us in a sort of stasis. The journey into the self in a world which feels less than stable magnifies our vulnerabilities and our strengths.
Through creating this series of portraits I wanted to capture the range of emotions my household and I felt during the pandemic, such as contentment, anxiety, impatience etc. Social isolation and lockdown had definitely raised my awareness of the emotions I was feeling. I found the general feeling of being unsettled led me to use much thicker paint than I would normally. The added texture of the paint heightens the emotions depicted. My hope is that the viewer of these portraits may be able to connect with some of the emotions depicted and know that they are not alone during this pandemic.
This figurative work was completed during the lockdown of 2020 and reflects on my inner processes and reactions to the situation. I looked at how people behaved as individuals.
The source of the inspiration were simple observations on daily walks, weekly shopping, zoom meetings and interactions on social media.
WHITE IN WEIGHT is my response to the moment Patrick Hutchinson carried a white counter-protestor to safety. Perhaps, in a society characterised by systemic racism, this act of civility creates a dual narrative, without given context.
LEBANON is my response to the image taken by Ibrahim Amro, a man’s reaction to the disaster.
Since the pandemic, Meachem has become aware that her interest in pattern is linked with how nature has a positive impact on her mental health. She now understands this is called ‘biophilia’: an innate biological tendency to be drawn to nature. Her paintings are her own coping mechanism and form of escapism.