By now most of us across the globe have settled into a new life, a new existence. In one way or another we have all had to come to terms with the new reality of self-isolation, of adapting to the new demands of being separated from our loved ones and the simple, everyday things we took for granted, of seeing our home as perhaps we had never seen it before – the new centre of everything, a veritable refuge and microcosm where we must make ends meet with whatever lies at hand, all the while nurturing the seeds of hope we have planted and eagerly await to bloom.
If we have always believed that art performs a pivotal role in bringing people together, we are now certain that it is crucial to maintaining our sense of community, to providing support and comfort during this new chapter of our shared human experience.
This exhibition is the answer to a simple request we made to the artists with whom we have been working over the years at Underdogs Gallery: To produce works that spoke of their present reality and circumstances, wherever they were, during the period of confinement – works created exclusively with the materials and media they had at hand while removed from their usual comfort zones.
Some artists are used to being confined to their studios for long periods of time. Others are used to travelling the world to work in situ in various locations. Others still fall somewhere in between these two poles. Yet for all, this new experience of confinement has brought on new challenges. How are they reacting to these? How are they keeping busy? How are they creating? How are they coping both physically and emotionally? How do they see this new reality?
Artists are first and foremost people. They have needs and desires, strengths and shortcomings like everyone else. However, whether consciously or unconsciously, directly or indirectly, artists are also recorders of the times they live in. They reflect on, react to, and work with what surrounds them. As such, more than a mere reflection on the present time, this exhibition consists in a reflection of the present time as seen through the diverse, creative eyes of our artists. Altogether, their answers – the very artworks showcased here –, constitute an ensemble, multiform poem on human creativity as it unfolds today, on this new and peculiar reality that touches all of us, right now.