Here I Am - International Open Exhibition

Here I Am – International Open Exhibition
1st Sept to 11th Sept 2020
Art in the Attic, The Factory, Jenkin Street, Porth CF39 9PP

At the beginning of this year I was working towards a solo exhibition at Art in the Attic for Aug/Sept 2020. I was researching for a new body of work. And then lockdown happened. And everything changed.

I, like everyone, began to experience life as never before. People we loved were now distanced, everyday life halted and ordinary routines required careful planning to remain safe and well. We watched the world through our window and were glued to the news, watching numbers rise and the streets empty. And I did not feel creative anymore.

As the weeks progressed life in lockdown evolved. The restrictions posed by the novel virus prompted novel ways to remain sane, neighbours rallied round looking out for the isolated and vulnerable and families connected via a variety of online tools, and we ‘Zoomed’.

Eventually I regained my creativity and in May began making cyanotype prints in my back garden. I was printing my hands on paper, sitting in the sun for 10 minutes, trying not to move to get a crisp, clear impression of my presence. While a sat during the exposures I thought about the cyanotype workshops I should have but couldn’t teach, the lost opportunities to share this process. And then I had an idea, and Here I Am. 

Here I Am invited everyone to trace the outline of their hand and draw their experience of lockdown. By placing your hand on a surface, you experience touch, by drawing the outline you leave your trace, and in that moment, you can say “Here I Am”.

Hands became an important element during the pandemic; wash your hands, the NHS clap, waving to friends from a distance or on a video call but also avoiding touch and experiencing the loss of the comfort of touch.

The pandemic and lockdown have had a profound effect on all of us and this exhibition brings together a wide range of experiences, placing the artist within the image and capturing moments unique and shared, of isolation and togetherness, of fear and hope, of challenges and strength.

The exhibition includes submissions from across the UK, USA, China, Spain and France, from artists, professional and amateur, young and old and contains over 100 artworks and poems.

Sharon Magill

 

Virtual Gallery - Here I Am at Art in the Attic

The Here I Am exhibition was also viewable as a virtual gallery. This enabled viewers to gain an experience of the exhibition from their home.