Artists escape black hole left by Covid-19 restrictions

Twelve graduates are collaborating on Lone Worlds, a mixed media exhibition that enables them to share their work within government guidelines

artists painting
Roisin Phelan trialling new mediums and colours. Credit: Roisin Phelan

A collective of artists will present Lone Worlds next month, a mixed media exhibition ensuring their work gets face time with the public despite cancelled university shows. 

Lone Worlds kicks off at The Sustainable Studio with a ticketed live art day on November 20, followed by walk-ins between 23 and 27. The artists come from a range of disciplines and universities, but many are from Cardiff and chose to gather in their hometown to push the project forward.

“We have all been subjected to isolation from our communities, the common ground for sharing what we create,” said the project co-ordinator Benjamin Ivy. “Through Lone Worlds, we want to rediscover that common ground.”

Arts universities have been in a difficult position, as graduate shows are the key moment for students to present their work to the public and wider arts community. Many universities moved their shows online due to COVID, but others were cancelled completely with students asked to submit detailed proposals instead. 

Changing tactics

Lone Worlds is an example of how to operate in the current landscape, using booked time slots and limited capacity in small galleries to create restricted but functional space. The show will host 12 artists, with a blend of physical performance and visual art. The physical performers will be showing video content to meet safety guidelines.

According to one artist, this show acted as key practice for them as young creatives, who may have to get used to an artist-led approach and organising everything themselves. 

Roisin Phelan explained that the separation from an academic setting removes the fear of being assessed and marked – enabling greater creative freedom. 

The project co-ordinator agreed there are positives to be taken from this pivot in approach. He said “As artists we have been afforded time for introspection.” 

Benjamin Ivy in Love Me (Not). Credit: Benjamin Ivy