Covid-19 Art Exhibition
Day 2 Artists
Marinela Caldarus - www.artclassesgroup.com @artclassesgroup
March 2020, is the time when Coronavirus took over the world. We are all equally terrified and only one thing is certain – no money can guarantee one’s safety. By studies, I am an artist, and I dedicated my life to painting and teaching but this time I felt that doing a painting would not be enough to evidence the reality I was living so I decided that every day I will document my experience while in lockdown, through writing, sketching, keeping a journal, or by taking pictures.
While resurrecting my veggie patch, a fascination with the entanglement of roots, worms and shoots in upturned turf led to experimental responses using to-hand materials and found objects. I drew the knotted clumps obsessively and worked through different processes. Dried duckweed from my pond, bleached by the sun, became paper; handmade tools from plant debris generated drawings and sculptural works evolved.
While digging the earth to make space for an outdoor studio bay, I found a glut of old rusty nails to use in my work. I sold my soil locally - creating a circular economy. Encounters between myself, garden as site and nature helped me form a stronger bond with all that comes and goes. Witnessing transformation, life and death, it was emotional at times. Communing with small creatures, incidents happened, some wonderful, others very sad.
During this time I embraced digital technology and made a film Life in the Undergrowth, from which this image is taken (see Instagram: @life_intheundergrowth).
I owe thanks to Arts Council England/National Lottery Emergency Response Fund, Richard Tomlinson and Jack Robson for their support.
Once taking this on the chin and continuing onwards with my practice I came across some social issues which I have been lucky enough not to go though.
Loved ones are being separated for long periods of time. Thinking about people in romantic relationships I thoughts around how intimacy has been reworked in these last months for many people in relationships. My focal point of this work was the sexual side of this social construct we currently have. People aren't able to physically be with one another and therefore unable to have any form of skin on skin contact which is one of the most intimate ways of being with someone. During this time I've seen a lot of relationships break down. Maybe the thought of being apart hurt too much so trying to be without them hurt less?
I thought about my friends and all the people I haven't met yet who are separated from their partner(s). They've probably not had sex not over the Internet in a while. Or even at all.
I thought about how skin on skin contact and feeling someone else on you is quite magical when you feel fantastic about them and being with them gives you the butterflies even after years of waking up in the same bed.
A body print. A visual representation of how my skin would touch yours. Every fold, crease and line all there to see. How my body kissed the paper. I present visual touch. My response to corona.
The operation was due to be scheduled just as the pandemic hit. I am hopeful that the amazing medical team that saved my life before, and have monitored to keep me safe ever since, will be able to do so again.
These are unsettling times for the majority of people all around the world, with everyone affected in their own way, yet also united by sharing the same hopes, fears and challenges of the reality of our respective ‘new worlds’.
"Lockdown Times" - an artist's book with an unusual sculptural form. Its contents focus on the creative cookery many of us tried in the early weeks of lockdown.
Not being able to explore the world during this tough time is pushing every creative artist to explore different path and alternative to fill the void of producing art in a stable environment. As a street photographer, my work revolves around the outside, the architecture and streets, the open air, the outdoor. Google Earth is nowadays my only resource for my work and my only escape on the outside.
Poetry and Photography by Richard Downes
Design Charlet Wilson
The work is part of my video film "Art during the shutdown" (https://youtu.be/VOlS9bSTNzU), by presenting my works of art, created in isolation and fear, in an exhibition.