Tŷ Pawb Open 2020
Arron Kuiper - Entry #WRES00526784
My own medium of sculptural painting (oil paint injected into a water-based gel via syringes) is difficult to describe in writing; it is easier to communicate visually. Please see the 30 second video to the left.
For more information, click here.
The C-19 Project
The C-19 Project is at once a memorial, a record, and an exploration of certain aspects of the crisis. The aim was to each day paint every person to pass away from the virus in the U.K. It has been running since the 21st of March and the piece now contains over 46000 hand painted figures; more are added periodically in line with official numbers.
There are 3 different colours applied uniformly because were it monochrome the work would form an indistinguishable mass and the people should be seen as individuals, but not differentiated into demographics. The colours themselves are those associated with face masks and PPE, which seem to be the defining imagery of the crisis. The project began in an almost reactionary fashion. Death tolls from other countries were being cited, and the count here in the U.K. was growing, but I wanted to see the figures in those numbers; to show that each digit was a very real human tragedy, and not just part of an abstract total from somewhere “other.” I think I also wanted to help somehow; to give something small for each person every day. This desire became ritual and obsessive; a purpose in record making.
With strict discipline of production and the almost performative/time-based nature of its creation the work began to ask questions of itself,
and viewer response stepped in to form its identity. How people were using the work and what they were finding through it was quite unexpected and led to new ways of thinking. To many it became an almost mindful outlet, a focal point for their grief thus easing the day to day struggles they experienced.
A Note to the Organisers: Due to the subject, nature and depth of the project, I have sought to include a documentation of production video (a sample version is included here), and a written statement like the above, for display alongside the piece itself. I defer however to your judgement in this matter and would be willing to display solely the work itself if required.
Show of Hands
The outlines for these hand silhouettes have been sent to the artist by key and essential workers from all around the world. They are executed in a manner referencing cave art hand silhouettes, the most widespread and prolific form of pre-history art.
From an Emergency Department Nurse Practitioner in California to a Supermarket Delivery Driver in Oswestry, they each marked their shared humanity by the simple and time honoured expedient of drawing around their hands.
Lockdown has been a time of shifting perceptions in notions of space, reality, the human psyche, and society in general. Through the loose and surreal landscape of a house in lockdown, the artist seeks to communicate the actuality of lockdown as experienced by the individual. The enlarged head, for instance, is indicative of where the person mostly lives; the stairs and front door barely exist and are subject to unknown presences hanging in the air. Allegorical motifs and references abound throughout. The bed upon which the figure reposes is mere lines, whereas the grass beneath, which represents the allotted one hour of outdoor exercise, is in colour and inhabits physical space, providing more comfort, and far more substantial, than the bed (much like how the phone contrasts with the pink T.V. screen and the 'windows' of blue sky). The figure's attention, however, is turned elsewhere, perhaps to the cartoonish O.A.P. or the figures above the television referencing the C19 Project. The work is, in short, an impossible physicality describing the "new normal" reality to which we all are subject.