“Good things will develop, and anything you do creatively, however successful or not, is fuel for future works.“
Rethinking Your Practice in Uncertain Times by Annette Pugh
Like many of us, not only has my educational work been impacted by the lockdown but also my painting practice. I continue to teach contextual studies online, but unable to access my Birmingham Artspace studio to continue with my large-scale oils, I am now rethinking my time and using it to develop other smaller works and photographic pieces.
The cancellation of an exhibition has meant leaving things incomplete and looking beyond this to see what can be done with limited resources, space and a restless mind.
I am therefore re-engaging with the photographic side of my work, using basic equipment and low-tech filters to develop work for an ‘Artwrite’ project set to take place at the Back to Backs in Birmingham, the date of which now hangs in the air.
Cramped into a box room, surrounded by just some of my many archive materials forces me to make new decisions and experiment much more, and I am lucky to be able to share these images with the writer that I have been partnered with for the project via the internet, so the dialogue between us remains intact.
Alongside this I am also working with the limited materials I do have at home, to create collage and paint works using old art resource images as a ground. This appropriation and re-use of visuals fascinates me and has long been influential to my practice, as has photography. These are still works in progress, who knows where they will go but what I have come to realise over the last couple of weeks is that out of this enforced period of isolation, good things will develop, and anything you do creatively, however successful or not, is fuel for future works.
Good luck to everyone who is in the same position.
By Annette Pugh
The Royal Birmingham Society of Artists (RBSA) is an artist-led charity which supports artists and promotes engagement with the visual arts through a range of exhibitions, events and workshops.
The RBSA runs an exhibition venue – the RBSA Gallery – in Birmingham’s historic Jewellery Quarter, a short walk from the city centre.
The gallery is currently closed due to Covid-19.
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