The World is experiencing a moment of stand-still during the events of Covid-19 pandemic. Surely it is affecting each one of us in many different ways. To some this means fear and uncertainty about the future, economic difficulties, to others – inspiration and time to create. This period brings ideas into surface, raises questions and debates about our healthcare and economic systems, ecological, political and social issues.
This is a series of posts featuring creative expressions made during Covid-19 pandemic, or previous works that are particularly relevant during these times of change.
James Gouldthorpe, a painter in the San Francisco Bay Area, is using painting to process the period of Covid-19. The artist is creating an archive of objects, people and places, that got infused with cultural relevance during the pandemic. The collection of artefacts is growing daily, informed by the news stories and the Internet. While creating stories through painted objects and sharing them on his Instagram profile, he finds encouragement and ideas for new artworks, as people start to engage in creating a pandemic narrative collaboratively.
“As an artist this project has giving me a focus, to keep me from spiralling out in the face of uncertainty. Like millions I live in fear of the disease and am also going to soon be joining the ranks of the unemployed. I am growing frightening of an uncertain future. Having found this project had given me something grounded and stable during worldwide tectonic upheavals. Through this work I have found a small way to connect to community of friends, family and fellow artist.”
“I have always been drawn to narrative and even at its most abstract my work suggests a plot. I have found that referencing a story is an effective way to explore my own particular conceptual ideas, and a compelling way to engage an audience. Painting one image often does not fully express the ideas I am exploring, but painting several images and thoughtfully juxtaposing them next each other they begin to create their own visual language. My approach to creating work has begun to resemble writing which I rigorously edit. As I pin paintings to the wall, I layer, remove, reconfigure and repaint until a compelling narrative begins to form. I frequently refer to my library of old books and magazines searching for relevant texts which I transcribe into the painted works. As I paint the work expands and shrinks finding unexpected directions, sometimes growing until it fills entire walls.”