Lockdown has restricted travel for us all across the world. We have spent most of the year trapped in our local areas, seeing the same local streets, parks and walks day in, day out. As an artist who has been predominantly inspired by travel, it’s interesting to question how travel restrictions have affected the art world; from the obvious that we can’t get to worldwide events and exhibitions to the simple lack of inspiration some may feel.
My inspiration to create my art originally stemmed from what I’ve seen during my travels. After my first visit to South Africa when I was ten, I was so impressed by the vibrancy of the country, filled with colourful flowers and birds, a tropical intensity. Without experiences like this my style and subject matter would no doubt have been very different.
However it is not just travel that can inspire our art but of course other artists too, one of whom for me is Henri Rousseau.
Rousseau is an extraordinary example of a “lockdown artist”. Although Rousseau was painting a long time ago, far before our lockdown, it is compelling to realise that his artworks were all painted from absolute imagination (and frequent visits to the zoo…), as he never stepped foot outside France!
So, can us environmental artists use our imagination, and paint without travel? Of course it is possible; so many artists have been driven to find natural beauty and inspiration from their immediate surroundings. My current mixed media technique embraces collage and enables me to paint the sea and infuse my message of Ocean Conservation into my paintings. I long to travel, when I am allowed and no doubt will be inspired even more to paint and express my passion through my art, with new travel experiences.
CASCADING REFLECTIONS 1
But for now perhaps all us artists need to remember, the limitations we face during this pandemic could in fact, help us to become more imaginative, we must explore our sources of inspiration, who knows – we may find that our artwork takes off in another, unexpected direction, which is even more exciting!
With excitement rising worldwide at the prospect of gallery openings this is all great news but still due to the pandemic and gallery closures all my art galleries are now exhibiting online. Most of the galleries have found this new way of exhibiting their artists very successful. It is certainly easier for the artists not having to ship paintings all over the world.
Please visit my online exhibitions below.
Oenone’s paintings are showing at Contemporary Art Gallery online ‘All Women Show’ from 1st to 30th April.
Oenone’s water paintings are also showing online at Las Laguna Gallery ‘Skies the Limit’ exhibition from 1st to 30th of April.
Oenone will be exhibiting her paintings online with Artsy in a solo show organized by Walter Wickiser Gallery, from 17th April to 13th June.