At the beginning of the year, the Covid-19 pandemic swept the globe. The month of March saw most countries enter into lockdown with varying degrees of restrictions and limitations. Over the past few months, countries have both begun the process of easing restrictions and reopening their economies while still continuing to struggle with the ongoing spread of Covid-19.
During this time, artists lived and worked through an unprecedented period of restrictions. The lockdown became the cause and context of artworks produced during this period. Some artists created work conceptualising the daunting impact of the pandemic, while others were inspired by the hope and resilience of the people. Artists also raised money for a variety of charities representing vulnerable causes amidst the pandemic.
Artists in lockdown also faced a unique set of limitations and restrictions. The conventional methods of producing and showcasing their work were no more. Galleries shut their doors, studio spaces closed down and materials became unobtainable.
The global crisis also directly impacted the art making practice of artists. On the one hand, artists were faced with the inevitable struggle with motivation while self-isolating during lockdown. Some artists produced little to no work as they devoted time to self-care, restructuring and planning ahead. On the other hand, lockdown bred a new creative drive in artists as they experimented with unconventional materials and alternative mediums and methodologies, while facing the challenge of showcasing their work almost exclusively through social media.
The following is an international series of interviews conducted throughout the month of July with contemporary artists from various disciplines, capturing a moment in time (March – July) when artists experienced an unprecedented period of personal and creative challenges during lockdown.