Inspiring our community to come and create together, we collaborated with London’s renowned Saatchi Gallery to host an at-home ‘life drawing’ of supermodel and friend Malgosia Bela. She is wearing our Summer 2020 collection, our most sustainable yet.
A group of global artists participated and produced work in their chosen mediums, including award-winning Miriam Escofet and Massimiliano Pironti, Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize winner Florence Hutchings, Ukraine Artist Alliance member Denis Sarazhin, George Dawnay, Nancy Cadogan, Yifat Bezalel, Mona Osman, Alida Cervantes and Michael Cline. This collaboration is in support of the Saatchi Gallery and its educational programming during this difficult time; please donate here.
Discover the artists’ thoughts on creativity in lockdown below and be inspired by the full Stella x Saatchi Gallery life drawing experience on our IGTV. Join in the creativity by sharing your art with #StellaCommUnity and we will curate our favourites on our social media channels.
Yifat Bezalel – Jaffa, Israel
As an artist, I spend a lot of time alone – it was almost like being alone was suddenly the common standard and I, for a change, was part of the mainstream; it gave me relief. I worked differently in isolation, with more peace of mind. While I was deeply saddened to see the dramatic effects COVID 19 had on the world, the situation gave me the opportunity to experience for the first time a primal-like state of being and see, in hindsight, I’ve been longing for this.
Nancy Cadogan – Countryside, United Kingdom
I am used to working in isolation, but this is different as I have a full and busy house and carving out space is tricky. I am preparing for a show in Rome about quarantine at the Keats Shelley Museum, and it could not be more pertinent to make work on this subject. I am amazed by how adaptable we humans are and there seems to be this huge surge in creativity, community and innovation. That is remarkable, and lovely to be part of.
Alida Cervantes – Tijuana, Mexico
The lockdown actually works well for me because I can focus much better without any distractions like social activities going on. This pandemic has made me appreciate the people I have around me and the life that I am able to lead. It has been interesting to see humanity feeling so vulnerable given that usually humans feel invincible.
Michael Cline – New York City, United States
The world just outside our door is curiously different. It’s not just the masks or social distancing that is so striking, but there is something in the air that is hard to pin down and ineffable. The world I usually depict in my art is somewhat dystopian in nature, so it strangely feels like this new reality is looking more and more like my fictitious alternate universe, which I find both fascinating and troubling.
George Dawnay – Signal Mountain, United States
I’m hoping that this situation might help us to realise our “common humanity” and bring about an era of peace and prosperity. I’m overly optimistic about life, I know. How is this going to affect art? There’s going to be another Renaissance!
Miriam Escofet – London, United Kingdom
As artists, we have to take ourselves away from the world and other people in order to immerse ourselves in the creative process; solitude is essential. I do think moments of crisis provide great opportunities for change and it would be tragic if we did not seize this moment to change our society for the better. I don’t see a return to rampant consumerism, and I hope the newfound sense of community and caring stays with us.
Florence Hutchings – London, United Kingdom
Ultimately, lockdown has had an impact of my perspective on the art world; it’s been interesting and uplifting to see how supportive and encouraging people are on social media, such as Instagram. There’s been a real sense of trying to stay creative together and realising how difficult that can be these days – but at the same time helping people try and keep making.
Mona Osman – London, UK
For me, the isolation doesn’t change so much as I have my studio at home – however, everything slowing down allowed me to experiment a bit more. Although I always believed that one shouldn’t take itself too seriously or take things for granted, this situation made me feel like this even more. We are mortal and more vulnerable we’d like to think.
Massimiliano Pironti – Stuttgart, Germany
Painting is a kind of meditation and I can go even deeper in isolation. Our busy and frenetic lives often keep us away from concentration. This situation just reminded me how art is important in my life, it represent for me the best way to react to my fears and worries. The beauty of the art is fundamental in our existence.
Denis Sarazhin – Kharkiv, Ukraine
I’m working on my upcoming solo show, which is not giving to me any chance to be sad and unmotivated. After the show is done of course I would like to have a rest away from my studio. I cannot understand anything at the moment and will think about this situation after my show ends, and I see if people are still interested in visiting gallery shows.