2020 has not been a kind year for the arts, which is what makes public art events like this all the more important. Many of this year’s artists, featured in the Open Doors 360 film project and exhibited in the Goldfinger Factory’s exhibition (curated by Vicky Caplin), displayed work reflecting on the surreal times we find ourselves in.

Addressing themes of seeming un-reality, Alison Jackson’s photographic portraits explore the contradictions and absurdity of our increasingly mediated existence; the voyeurism of the lens enforcing its verity. “The Queen at William Hill” has a kind of satirical late-90s verisimilitude that is both intimate and uncanny.

Lucille Dweck’s paintings explore the magical and spiritual aspect of being immersed in nature. In “Son Sparkles”, she captures a moment of meditative stillness, rich with movement: dazzling rivulets of water reflect and refract in textured brush marks. In “Night Thames”, Dweck paints a lone figure with his back to the viewer dwarfed by a deserted cityscape. Completed during lockdown, the subject matter conjures feelings of isolation, and a metaphorical re-wilding of the urban environment; a powerful evocation of the quiet introspection enforced upon many this year.

Danny Lane’s glass sculptures show great sensitivity to the refractive and reflective qualities of his material, challenging the viewer to interrogate their expectations. Contributions from upcycling sculptor Joe Rush transfigures salvaged materials into expressive and often humorous pieces. Kate Daudy’s appliqué tube map explores the limits of visual language.

In addition, Chasing the Light and Muse Films have produced ten films during lockdown, with artists of many disciplines. Terence Stamp makes the case for the value of the arts through a tremendous on-stage performance, while Nicholas Grace highlights the need for the arts to authentically reflect the identity of the artist. Alongside this, Sanbar conducts live-streamed interviews with participating artists. I-Sis, an eclectic Afrikan Centric Poet, describes her poetry as advocacy, while Mark Elie, director of the Portobello Dance School, speaks movingly about the importance of representation. A powerful and prescient exhibition.

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