Created by artists from Prospect Arts Action Network (PAAN), Strange Days features work created during the current pandemic. The works reflect the artists’ experiences of unexpected realities, new social rules and routines, now-familiar graphics and turns of phrase, isolation and connectedness, and new insights into their neighbourhoods.
Art has kept this group connected through fortnightly Zoom meetings to discuss what they have been working on in response to the pandemic.
Discussions revolve around rules and restrictions and how routines have changed or stayed the same, as well as isolation and neighbourly connectedness during these strange days. Working across various media these artists have all produced something different informed by these discussions.
As cities faced lockdowns and isolation and life slowed down, landscapes altered as busy streets became ghost towns allowing fresh perspectives on our neighbourhoods, seeing things that were already there but may have gone unnoticed. This is what fascinated photographer Peter Lindon who wandered and watched a silent Prospect Road, eventually discovering curious items in shop windows and slices of urban detail.
“The small became big as the shops became their frames. The buildings we are used to seeing came to barely contain things we usually don’t notice. And that’s what COVID has done for me artistically,” states Lindon.
Similarly Sarah Northcott ’s postcard-sized paintings of footpaths, bike paths, fences, road signs, plants, and architectural details are inspired by walks during lockdown in her local neighbourhood with her young family. She says: “I feel like I saw the local area in a new way during this time that we were more or less confined to it. I hope the works have a sense of something familiar yet unfamiliar about them.”