Art transcending COVID restrictions
We’re closing in on an entire year since the world was turned upside down, not least for the artists in our Island. Back in September of 2020, looking to inspire artists and encourage them to think outside of the box, ArtHouse Jersey published a call-out inviting creators to pitch for a ‘COVID Commission’, up to the value of £5,000. If selected, this money would go towards delivering fresh, inspiring work that would transcend pandemic restrictions.
We were looking for art that would appeal to a broad audience. It could be of any discipline but would have to be of value and interest to both people in Jersey and further afield. Given the pandemic’s impact on both the arts and society at large we felt it was no longer about sitting and waiting it out, but a time to wholly encourage artists to fully embrace the opportunities available to them and begin to think differently about how to create work that would be both memorable and impactful.
Here we introduce some of the artists and projects that were successful in their ‘COVID Commission’ applications, as the finishing touches are put upon the various works of art.
The Fernweh Vision
The Fernweh Vision is a group of environmentally aware artists who are interested in inviting your voice to help develop their exhibition entitled ‘YourTopia’. It explores the future possibilities of two paralleled environments, inspired by the ideas of a Utopia and Dystopia.
The exhibition will offer guests the opportunity to step into these worlds and immerse themselves in a variety of multi-dimensional works. The collective tells us to be prepared for YourTopia to be a different kind of exhibition, one that gives you an experience of the future in hope that it will encourage us to reflect on the present.
Your descriptions will be used to mould and dictate what the artists create for ‘YourTopia’. It’s their hope that the exhibition will stimulate thought and conversation around the future of our environment and our place within it. This work will go live at Greve de Lecq Barracks in May 2021.
To take part in the survey simply click here.
Refugio – Oliver Le Gresley
Oliver Le Gresley is an artist and craft practitioner, who holds a BA in Fine Art and an MA in Textile Design from University College Falmouth. He spent a formative 15 months living in Japan working with a master silk weaver and a small textile design company. His recent work has explored craft, materiality, and the genius loci, seeking to represent motifs of place and experience.
For his COVID Commission, Oliver will explore some of these ideas whilst responding to the way life has changed over the past year. ‘Refugio’ hopes to distil some of these changes, placed within the artificial context of the art gallery, to encourage the viewer to reflect upon the ideas of exterior and interior, public and private, confinement and freedom. The unique installation will be live in April 2021 at ArtHouse Jersey’s HQ at Greve de Lecq Barracks.
Lavender – Serena Ruth and Paddy Randall
Jersey based dancer/movement researcher Serena Ruth and her collaborator Paddy Randall met at Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance where their creative partnership began. Their movement based work utilises score making as a means to consider the tender moments that can be generated between audience and performer.
The pair applied to ArtHouse Jersey’s COVID commission call out to create ‘Lavender’, an installation exhibition involving movement and projection. Serena Ruth said ‘The work is concerned with the notion of orientation; how we come to find our way and feel at home. Throughout lockdown many of us have been required to redefine the spaces in which we live; Zoom meetings in the kitchen, emails sent from the landing and dance classes happening within the confines of our childhood bedrooms. The mode of orientation within our home environments has entirely shifted. We are delighted to be taking up a residency with ArtHouse Jersey and are excited to bring you Lavender.’
Experience the performance at Greve de Lecq Barracks till March 8th 2021, in 45 minute slots bookable for one household/bubble only to a maximum of 6 people – click here to book.
‘The Death of Keats’ – Luke Wright
Commissioned by ArtHouse Jersey and the Keats-Shelley Memorial House (Rome) committee member Mary Venturini, Award winning British poet and author Luke Wright has written and performed this original piece entitled ‘The Death Of Keats’ which formed part of the official bicentenary commemorations in Rome.
You can watch the piece on the ArtHouse Jersey Presents platform by clicking here.
‘The Book of Not Entirely Useful Advice’ – A.F. Harrold
A.F. Harrold is an English poet who writes and performs for adults and children, in cabaret and in schools, in bars and in basements, in fields and indoors. He was Glastonbury Festival Website’s Poet-In-Residence in 2008, and Poet-In-Residence at Cheltenham Literature Festival in 2010.
No stranger to the Island, A.F. Harrold last performed here for the Jersey Festival of Words in 2016. He proved an instant hit, with six hundred children spellbound at the Jersey Opera House. He is also a renowned children’s author and by his own admission ‘does things that aren’t entirely normal’. He reads from his collection The Book of Not Entirely Useful Advice, which is suitably off-the-wall, but also directly addresses the kids in Jersey and speaks about his love of the Island. Click here to watch.