Covid-19 restrictions may be easing slightly – with variations state by state – but galleries are offering a dazzling array of art experiences online, from virtual exhibition tours and podcasts to live artist interviews, videos, and more. Watch this space. Each week one of the Art Guide editors will bring you a selection of online art highlights.
Artists talk about working in isolation
Long before Covid-19 came along, many artists already had some well-honed strategies in place for keeping motivated while working in isolation.
In their new series Artist Voice, curators at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) have spoken to 20 Australian and international artists about the challenges of working in isolation through a global pandemic. Interviews with Claire Healy and Sean Cordeiro, Rushdi Anwar (Chiang Mai), Mitchell Cummins, Karla Dickens and Megan Cope, Lee Mingwei (New York), and Gemma Smith are already online and more will follow each week.
Meanwhile the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) are offering live video studio visits with artists, every Wednesday at 6pm via NGV’s Instagram Live, giving audiences an intimate glimpse into their practices while in isolation. Tune in on 20 May for artist Yhonnie Scarce, or catch designer Mary Featherston on 27 May. This series features six Australia artists and designers and all of the video visits can also be watched later on the NGV channel.
And last week, here at Art Guide we launched Faraway, so close, our own series of podcasts in which artists and curators talk about working alone, together.
Singers takeover empty AGNSW
The Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW) are making the most of the eerie acoustics in their echoey empty spaces by inviting in an eclectic range of singers to perform while the doors are closed.
In their latest release, South West Sydney hip-hop artist L-FRESH The LION gives a heartfelt spoken-word performance. Earlier recordings, which include soul singer Ngaiire’s acapella version of her song Fall into my arms and Maissa Alameddine singing an Arabic love song, can be found at #togetherinartperformance.
The Koorie Heritage Trust have launched their digital response to Covid-19, KHT online. This portal features a whole swathe of video interviews, online exhibitions, oral histories and education kits. KHT online also include KHT kids where you can find a story about Walert the possum, complete with an illustration by Mick Harding to download, print and colour-in.
52 ACTIONS is back
52 ACTIONS, a new iteration of the Artspace 2018-2019 initiative 52 ARTISTS/52 ACTIONS, is back. Or it will be on Monday 18 May: mark your diary.
Alexie Glass-Kantor, executive director of Artspace, explained the thinking behind relaunching the project. “Designed originally to explore how artists across the broader Asian region could utilise online platforms to create politically engaged art outside of the institution, it makes sense to revive the format at a time when we find ourselves locked out of institutions entirely,” she said. “This time around we shift the focus onto Australia, highlighting the practices of 52 artists across the country.”
As a 100% online project, 52 ACTIONS can be viewed via a dedicated webpage, as well as on Artspace’s Instagram and 52 ARTISTS 52 ACTIONS Instagram. And James Tylor, the last artist to participate in the first project will be the first Australian artist to post his work on 18 May.
Connect across the generations with art
Shepparton Art Museum (SAM) are combining their digital art tutorials for kids with good old fashioned snail-mail in their Pen-Pal project which, in collaboration with Gen Connect, aims to connect children with residents in retirement homes.
Each Wednesday morning SAM will release a new online tutorial to via their SAM Hub to inspire young artists.