How have artists responded to two years of lockdowns, restrictions and mandates? There’s a chance to find out this month, when a new post-pandemic exhibition opens at Leigh’s Foundation Gallery & Arts Hub.
Response to Our World features multimedia works by eight local artists, including gallery founder Hillary Austin. She says the show is a reflection of the challenges everyone has faced and where they now find themselves.
“This is a new vision of where we all are after this,” she says. “There’s a collective anxiety around the edges of our experiences. The whole community experience has precipitated a different look in our work. I don’t think we’ll all be the same again.”
Austin’s own work is a case in point. She says her perspective has changed and there has been a fundamental shift in how she now depicts landscapes, as a result of Covid and other upheavals.
“It’s precipitated a real change that had to happen,” she says. “I’m not so much looking at infinite distance any more, I’m moving it from extreme distance to the middle ground. It’s mysterious, because it’s revealing itself as what I’ve always known. I’m trying pretty dark imagery, but with high contrast light.”
Other artists are showing their more literal responses to life in lockdown, such as Rhana Panhuis, whose works include a hanging sculpture made from teabags – one for every day of lockdown.
The exhibition will also feature new works by Patrick Betts, Andy Turner, Silvia Birch, John Wright, Rachel Waterhouse and new artist Charlotte Farrow.
Response to Our World opens on Friday, July 22 at 6pm at the Foundation Gallery, which is in Totara Street, Leigh. It will run for around three weeks and most works are for sale.
Info: Visit www.facebook.com/foundationartsnz