Group Exhibition – State of Disaster

Despite being in a rather strict Covid-19 lockdown, I am participating in a very unique style of exhibition that could only exist at this time and place. 

State of Disaster
September 6 – 20 2020
Kensington, Victoria
Co-curated by Rute Chaves and Tameka Carter

If you’re in Kensington or within 5km, you can follow the maps at stateofdisasterkensington.com and spend your one hour of exercise walking an art trail around the suburb. Even if you can’t make it, you can visit the website and see what some artists in this area are up to.

The other artists included are: 

  • Bridget Griffiths + Madeleine Russo
  • Curtis Moulton
  • Haydn Allen
  • Jenny Pitts
  • Julie Kimpton
  • Kelly Altair 
  • Lorenzo Pavesi
  • Makermei
  • Parul Sen 
  • Rute Chaves
  • Sally Ann McIntyre + Campbell Walker
  • Sarah Coe

Why is this exhibition important to me? 

A big part of my creative process is living my life and being inspired by things and people I encounter first hand, as opposed to actively seeking inspiration or getting it from the media. So when the virus meant I would be spending the majority of the year in my neighbourhood, it meant that’s where I would find inspiration. Fortunately I’m in an area where nature lives alongside us humans so coming across natural beauty that inspires me hasn’t been difficult and my art hasn’t suffered in that regard. It’s true that during this time my life has been affected by changing priorities, anxieties and strange energies which I’ll need more time to understand and process, but I haven’t stopped painting.

At the peak of lockdown and the time of the exhibition, the rules for me and most people were: 

  • Curfew between 8pm-5am
  • Work remotely
  • No travelling outside of a 5km radius
  • No leaving the house unless exercising or getting food, for maximum of an hour 
  • No going to another house or meeting anybody for any reason. 

When I received the call out for this exhibition through word of mouth, I had already been in lock down for four months and painting under these strange conditions, so I was glad to receive an opportunity to share what I had created. The inspiration for the work that is included, my painting of gumnuts, is only two hundred meters from where it is displayed. I doubt I’ll ever have the chance to participate in an event with these conditions and restrictions ever again. 

I’ve participated in art walks before, but the underlying motivation of those has been to set up an attraction to bring more people into a commercial area where they will spend money in local shops. State of Disaster is a rare exhibition that has no commercial motivation or value and is only about sharing thoughts and feelings with people in the community.

It’s been great to see people stopping outside the house and to see people walking around viewing the art. I’ve been given the opportunity to communicate with artists in my area and learn more about what they’re doing. After living in Melbourne for over ten years, and two of those in Kensington, this is the most connected I’ve ever felt in a community. 

See the website at stateofdisasterkensington.com

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