THE YEAR 2020: THE WORLD CAME TOGETHER AS THE PEOPLE STAYED APART
The exhibition runs from the 3rd September – 31st October 2020
Everyday life has undergone dramatic changes over the past few months. That holds true for people around the globe. There is no denying that the COVID 19 virus has brought immeasurable misery, in many forms. Ironically, it has also triggered an unprecedented outburst of creativity. Out of adversity, ingenuity and resourcefulness have flourished.
Ardmore artists were subject to the weeks-long lockdown like everyone else in South Africa. Human imagination cannot easily be stifled, however. Staying at home afforded these artists the time and opportunity to reflect upon and interpret the narrative of this perplexing turnabout in history.
They have mobilized their hopes and fears to fire up the creative process.
This incredible new Collection enables us to “ hear” their lockdown stories, as interpreted through the modelling of clay. We are delighted to present these extraordinary pieces, created while the Ardmore Studio was closed. They were incubated in less-than-ideal working conditions, in the nearby village of Lidgetton.
The Ardmore artists have brought to life amazing artworks and striking new ceramic designs. Without a doubt, these will enhance any personal or museum collection. Some pieces explore the themes of equilibrium and mutual co-operation in nature through interlocking animal forms. Others engender hope. Still, others are infused with a sense of playfulness. The surreal shared experience of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Arks filled with bats, pangolins and other African animals double as eloquent statements on the unquestionable necessity of protecting the environment. Safe houses and Zulu huts reference the human need for sanctuary. The large pangolin sculptures have become powerful symbols of the pandemic and our response to it. Curled up in their instinctive form of lockdown, they face the uncertainty of whether to emerge in public or to withdraw. This fresh Collection interweaves aesthetics and urgency, beauty with gravity.
“ The COVID 19 pandemic and the lockdown that followed came upon us suddenly and dramatically, changing all our lives. I have been astounded yet again by the incredible creations of the Ardmore artists, emerging from humble working conditions in the Lidgetton Village close to our studio. The artists were inevitably impacted and influenced by what was happening around us. The luxury of time gave us the opportunity to return to storytelling. We now question the way humans help create the conditions that led us into the pandemic, and the artists have explored new ways to find balance in nature.” Fée Halsted