We are now more than two months into the UK lockdown and the effects on people, up and down the country, can be seen taking hold in many different ways. Between furlough pay, small business loans, mortgage holidays and other such schemes the country is without doubt facing a strange and uncertain future.
“All we are asking you to do is stay at home, slow the spread of the virus and protect the NHS” has been the 5pm mantra of the government every night since the end of March.
“ALL WE ARE ASKING YOU TO DO . . . “
“All we are asking you to do . . . ” is, I think, a very telling turn-of phrase. One that suggests that those making the rules do not understand what it means to be truly human. We are, as a rule, a social species and the idea of isolating oneself, or even a family group, away from the rest of society for an indefinite period of time is probably one of the cruelest requests that could be made of many people. Even the most anti-social behaviour is at it’s heart a social act; rarely do people set out to behave badly on their own, more often than not there is a pack instinct that draws people together based on shared values, and it is through this groups and gangs form with their own agendas.
South Leeds is an area of dense population in which houses are often small, without gardens, front doors open directly onto pavements, bad behaviour can be prevalent in certain pockets and clean and tidy amenity space is often hard to find. For those living in areas such as this the experience of lockdown is not going to be the same as that of those who live in areas with large houses, gardens and a cleaner environment beyond the garden wall. And, as we have seen recently even the rule makers find it difficult to abide by their own rules. “All we are asking you to do . . . ” in the context of all of this suddenly seems like quite a big ask.
It is in communities populated by the elderly, ill, out-of-work, or working poor that many organisations are working tirelessly to try and combat the effects of all of these things alongside social isolation, even when there is no pandemic.
SLUNG LOW LS11 GALLERY
At the point at which the galleries had to shut their doors to the public, South Leeds based Slung Low have provided an opportunity in which you the viewer are asked to submit artworks for their street gallery. If you walk around LS11 at the moment you may come across images on boards attached to lampposts.
If you want your drawing or painting or photograph to be a part of this then take a picture of it and send it to us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or text us on 07704 582137 and we will arrange to come round and take a copy of it for you. We will then print them on special plastic board and put them up on the lampposts around Holbeck and Beeston.
Be anonymous if you would like to be. Be any age to enter: young and old and all in between. There is a lamp post for everybody.
Please get in touch if you need any art materials. Any questions you can give us an email on email@example.com or call us on 07704 582137
To view the Virtual Gallery online visit: www.slunglow.org/ls11-gallery
LANDSCAPES OF THE UNKNOWN
Due to the outbreak of the pandemic, BasementArtsProject had to shut it’s doors to the public after two weeks of our latest exhibition Landscapes of the (Un)known by artist Lou Hazelwood. A virtual tour of this exhibition can now be found online at www.basementartsproject.com/landscapes-of-the-unknown
BASEMENTARTSPROJECT: LOCKDOWN JOURNALS
During this time of social distancing we have not rested here at BasementArtsProject and whilst we have had to lay physical projects to one side we have instead gone online with the “Lockdown Journal”. Here we are presenting the work and lives of artists from all over Leeds, UK and the world, as they continue to produce work whilst the possibility of exhibiting in the 3D world is not possible. You can find a full archive of posts at www.basementartsproject.com/studio-journal Here is a journal entry by Leeds based Sculptor and Organist Scott Christian Senogles who has been posting piano improvisations made during lockdown.
Next week I shall bring you some more cultural snippets from the world of art and what has been happening here On The Corner . . . .
Bruce Davies | 1st June 2020