WILL ARTISTS SURVIVE?
Andrew’s lockdown Blog – Spring 2020
We returned from Miami in March. I spent the majority of the time there with a headache, coughing all day and night, and feeling exhausted. I hardly had enough energy to walk the quarter of a mile down to the Hollywood Broadwalk. Fortunately there were places to sit while we slowly made our way along the Broadwalk to a restaurant. I did not rent a car because I was sure that my constant cough would have made us a danger on the road. We took taxis when necessary.
Is it possible that I had the dreaded virus? I intend to find out, once there is a reliable test available to learn whether I have. Am I now immune? The chances are Covid 19 will be with us for the foreseeable future just like flu and we will have to get a shot every year to give us some immunity. I should say that I’m fine now.
Very soon after we arrived in Wimbledon and had listened to the news I realised that it wasn’t a good idea to use public transport to get to my studio. I gave up my car years ago. My daughter drove me there to collect some drawing materials and paper that I could use at home. I set myself up in a corner of the smallest room in our flat.
Drawing alone didn’t satisfy me so I ordered some oil paints and tools online. I waited weeks for them to arrive and finally, out of frustration, persuaded my sympathetic daughter to drive me to the studio again to collect some oils, brushes, pallet knives and turpentine. You guessed it, the following day the stuff I had ordered online was delivered.
I have since been painting in my small space and wondering, will I be able to have an exhibition in 2021 or at any time in the future?
Can you imagine a private view with lots of guests mingling ever happening again?
When you came to (Buy Before I Die) at the Menier Gallery in March 2019, I probably told you that I was planning my next exhibition to be in May 2021. Do you think there’s any possibility that it will happen? I have my doubts, and I wonder how artists, like me, will be able to sell our work and survive as artists.
I don’t believe that an online viewing replaces the experience of confronting the actual piece of work. So what is the alternative to the traditional exhibition? I’m considering different approaches and will let you know if I arrive at a solution. Do you have any suggestions?
Finally, I’m including one of the pieces I’ve painted at home. I call it Homework 6. Finished on 24th April 2020, so it’s still drying. Oil on paper, unframed, 15”X 22” (half-Imperial) or 38 X 56cm if you prefer Napoleonic measurements.