A new project made possible thanks to Emergency Funding from Arts Council England.
In Summer 2020, we were granted Emergency Funding from Arts Council England, funding our latest project Pause, Reflect, Create. Thanks to this investment, we are commissioning the studio artists to make an artwork in response to Covid-19. This provides work opportunities for the artists during these difficult times, and documents the artistic response to the pandemic for future generations. We will share the artists’ making process via our social media platforms, and look forward to wrapping up with an exhibition in the Round Tower. Following this, the artworks will join the Covid Collection at Portsmouth City Museum and Art Gallery.
Textiles artist Kim has completed two stitched quilts that document the experience of living through a pandemic. The large Lockdown Quilt uses data from her activities, sound bites and headlines as Kim created a stitched live blog of the experience. The second quilt focuses on the changing role of the home in our daily lives due to the restrictions, including different functions our houses had to fulfil. The second quilt is a work in progress, and includes a stitched outline of her flat, labelled with the new titles of what each room fulfils. We love everything Kim makes, and are amazed at the level of detail she’s captured in these commissions.
Contemporary Jeweller Laura Bennett adapted her new After the Storm necklace for her Pause, Reflect, Create commission. As the rainbow became a symbol of hope during the pandemic, Laura used it in a new range of jewellery that became popular for her customers to send to loved ones they missed. This commission sees the design adapted: made for 9ct yellow gold with added diamonds.
Coastal painter Lizzie has documented her experience of lockdown by painting the view from her home on Hayling Island. Lizzie has always been inspired by the sea, but the view from her home became particularly important to her over lockdown. Lizzie has painted this image from the perspective of Lizzie lying in her bed, watching the lines of ships at sea. As Lizzie struggled to buy art materials over lockdown, she re-purposed an old canvas to create her commission.
Annie’s commission for Pause, Reflect, Create is a porcelain sculpture of the Royal Garrison Church. Annie passed this local landmark on her daily walk over lockdown, and was reminded of the hardships others had endured and overcome before us. The Garrison Church is a key landmark in Old Portsmouth, but was badly damaged by a firebomb in 1941. The hollow, bleakness of the building reminded resonated with atmosphere in cities over lockdown, and provided the main subject matter for Annie’s piece. The sculpture features news headlines from the first lockdown, giving a new context to the Garrison Church.
Impressionist painter Steve has used lined canvas and oil paint to capture his local landscape as it changed over lockdown. Steve described the loneliness felt over the first lockdown, and the solace that the landscape offered him. The changing light cast over Farlington Marshes inspired Steve to use this as his subject matter for Pause, Reflect, Create.
Carrie’s commission is inspired by the role of carers during the pandemic. This mixed media piece uses collage and illustration to capture the nurturing spirit of care workers, epitomised over the pandemic.