Award winning, not-for-profit arts publication reflecting on mental wellbeing. Produced and curated by Alice Bradshaw, Vanessa Haley & Lenny Szrama in collaboration with Penistone Line Partnership. Founded in 2018. Currently funded by Penistone Line Partnership, Community Rail Network, Northern & CrossCountry.
This work was inspired by and created during the COVID-19 quarantine, commissioned by Absolutely Cultured, Hull as part of their Creative Micro Commission Programme. My concept was to create an animated film capturing the normal becoming abnormal, an anxiety nightmare of isolation during a lockdown. I utilised the visual metaphor of a haunted house, the inhabitants held captive by the dark entity of COVID-19 hovering outside the apparent safe confinement of the home.This project was a true example of collaboration. My son created original music for the discordant soundtrack and my partner features as the politician and the dancing Love Leopard. All three of us shared the lockdown experience together. During the lockdown I ran an online Art Club on Sunday afternoons where I invited people to make artwork based around a theme. Some of the artwork is featured within the virtual room settings of my House of Fun. During this crisis it has become ever more apparent to me how much creativity can promote positive mental health.
My work recalls a long tradition of staged narratives and theatrical role-playing in art. I utilise the camera and various tools of the cinema and theatre, such as makeup, costumes, props, and scenery, to create dream worlds filled with Gothic horror and surreal humour. Alongside my photographic work I also create still and animated photo-montage, and quite often appropriate existing images and re-imagine them in a new context. I also work in collaboration with performers to reshape my 2D created worlds into 3D immersive theatrical experiences allowing the audience to become part of these imaginary spaces. Within my work I am interested in exploring the possibilities of the transformation of the everyday.
1. Made in the first week of finding myself in quarantine in Argentina, in response to a call out from an artist friend who engraves portraits on mirrors, asking people around the world to make an art work on a mirror to reflecting on this shared unusual moment we were living through. I wanted to connect to others, in particular the peace in others, and move away from what felt like a collective anxiety. I enjoyed working on the mirror as a literal reflection of of what we were doing, and the reflected bars and sky as a comment of freedom.
2. The sculpture was made between my 2 quarantine locations in Argentina and London and reflects the split experiences feeling during this time and made with the meditative process that the situations created for me in that time.
Carla Conte is a London based multi disciplinary artist, maker and community worker. She has exhibited in and organised events and projects nationally, working across different themes including; women, giving people a voice, death and mother earth. Her love of nature, communication, cohesion, collection, stories, travel and ritual are threads that run through her works. Wood is her first love and she is currently concentrating on developing her collection of carved figures. While natural, found and recycled materials are the most common features in her art, she works in a variety of media from digital to installations.
Intricate hand cut collages, part of the love letter series. Generally large collages – mounted on heavy watercolour paper. They are created from old envelopes, illustrations and words from a variety of old books and documents, sometimes combined with the artists original drypoint prints. Although pretty at first glance, up close these collages are a little saucy!
I am a collage and assemblage artist with a strong interest in storytelling. I work with old materials and reform them to create a new view of the world. I have worked as an artist for 30 years, as well as teaching art and running a gallery in the Yorkshire Dales where I am based. I exhibit and sell nationally and internationally, and my work appears in public collections in New Zealand, France and America. In 2019 I was selected for the publication: Collage By Women: 50 Essential Collage Artists. My latest series of collages, Lockdown Love Letters, are a reflection on the erotic and sensual in a time of social distance and a global pandemic.
Whole countries shut down, and this is the new normal for us all. The world as we know it, has had to rapidly adapt and evolve, as has the art that I have been making. Fake news slips into social media, and messages constantly ping on my phone, as we all attempt to stay in touch and informed. I am one of the lucky ones, safe with my family, healthy and with access to the internet and a fridge full of food.
Now I walk briskly to my local supermarket, silently standing, masked in socially distanced queues, constantly looking from new signage on floors to the distance between those in my proximity. Colourful tape a never ending reminder of how to correctly place myself within delineated territories. Accidentally at times I overstep the mark, misreading another persons stride, we all make mistakes. My paintings are now fed by the politics, domestic violence, mental health issues, and how to cope with this nightmarish reality. I reinvent reality on canvas, just as many other artists before me have done in crisis. At the click of a button, all culture past and present is fed to me digitally. I am connected to a network, up all hours, borderless, zoom calls, virtual gallery spaces, I can be anyone and anywhere in the world. My paintings proclaim this, stating I belong here, this is what I’ve seen and heard, don’t forget (me.) My way to bear witness to what it means to be human, the beautiful, the good the bad and the ugly.