Mounted……COVID19……. and After.
One of the sad ironies that the present pandemic has brought to light is how hard the arts sector has been affected, and yet simultaneously, how important the arts and the expression of personal creativity has been as an instrument of survival during this time of forced isolation that all of us are experiencing to different extents.
Arts organisations across the globe have been faced with enormous difficulties, creative artists and arts workers have lost jobs and incomes, as if being an artist wasn’t a precarious enough way to be in this world even in the best of times. However, as the crisis has stretched on, it has been deeply encouraging to see how resilient and adaptive the arts community have been, seeking to find ways to continue making and sharing art of all kinds, and doing so in a variety of different and often creatively innovative new contexts.
Earlier in the year Frances Morris, director of Tate Modern said in The Guardian. “It’s a pivotal moment. We’re going to talk in terms of before and after. The virus will change a lot of things for art.” https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2020/apr/20/art-world-coronavirus-pandemic-online-artists-galleries,
It will be interesting to see if this is right, and what the new post-Covid landscape will look like for those who make, promote, represent and consume.
At Mounted ARI the pandemic hit us just as we were gathering momentum, having just completed our first three exhibitions and associated events. The event-based model of our operations posed some difficult questions about how to move forward with our planned shows, whilst still complying with health and safety regulations like social distancing. With the health, safety and comfort of our Mounted community as our first priority, we made the difficult decision to postpone the shows we had scheduled for the rest of 2020. We have assured our artists and audiences of our ongoing commitment to these exhibitions, and we are now in the process of re-scheduling and planning for 2021.
This enforced hiatus has provided us with some time and space to further develop our online and real world infrastructure. To maintain and hopefully expand our Mounted community, we have prioritised our online presence with a renewed focus upon our Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/groups/426948034516222/?ref=search our Instagram,https://www.instagram.com/mounted_ari/ and launched our website, www.mountedari.com.
We are presently focusing upon creating some online projects that will profile artists who will be participating in our upcoming shows. Our ‘Creative Spaces’ initiative, on Instagram and Facebook, is an example.
It is a challenge to stay connected, especially because Mounted has placed a high priority on bringing people together, physically, to enjoy being together and sharing and celebrating in the creativity of others. Despite this we remain committed to the vision of building community through art.
When Mounted opens its real-world doors again in the new year, it will start with a theme-based multi-disciplinary project that will include visual artists, writers and musicians. The project will explore the idea of MEMORY, and will include an exhibition, readings of short fiction and musical performances, all created for this show. The project has already been launched and will feature the work of over 30 creative artists.
Two further projects are also planned. Mounted will host an artist collective of visual artists who are exploring through painting and sculpture/installation the representation of the four seasons in an era of the Anthropocene.
Mounted is also proud to host a show by two young art school grads. The exhibition entitled ‘Identity Consciousness’ will explore the term ‘third culture kids’; globalisation, migration, diversity. These monolithic issues come together to form singular identities. What does it mean for your identity, when it draws from a multiplicity of different cultural and ethnic backgrounds?
These shows will be supported with a range of events including Slam Poetry nights, workshops and talks. In addition Mounted will also be holding quarterly ‘Supper Club’ nights when the gallery’s resident band ‘Paterson’s Curse’ will perform, accompanied by guest performers.
So much to anticipate. We invite you to join us in 2021 and become part of our community. In the meantime, join our mailing list, use the ‘Contact Us’ page on the website and keep an eye on our Facebook, Instagram and website for news and stories on our regular monthly blog.
Thank you for your ongoing support of Mounted. We look forward to hearing from you, and seeing your wonderful faces again in the not too distant.
(for the Mounted ARI team)