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COVID-19-inspired art created from lockdown

By John Lewis

GOULBURN Valley artists have used time in lockdown or isolation to create new works in response to the experience of a pandemic.

Splinter Contemporary Artists had just installed an exhibition of new works titled Lockdown Look Up at Kyabram Town Hall gallery when stage three COVID-19 restrictions were introduced, forcing the gallery's closure.

For Segment and Re-Compose by Kristen Retallick: "Arranging shapes with a design sensibility is something I enjoy and can achieve while 'the new and ever-changing normal' of our current world plays out."

New group president Kristen Retallick said while it was frustrating the show was only open for two days, members understood the necessity to close.

“It's sort of ironic — the show is about coming out of lockdown, then it was locked down,” Ms Retallick said.

New Splinter Contemporary Artists president Kristen Retallick: "It's sort of ironic - the exhibition is about coming out of lockdown, then it was locked down," Ms Retallick said.

“But there are bigger issues, and we understand the need to keep everyone safe.”

In an opening statement, Splinter group members Bev Dowd and Meg Doller said the pandemic had been a time of profound change for group members.

“During the pandemic there was uncertainty and fear. For some, this experience changed us as artists and as people. Our working methods changed and our thought processes changed,” the statement said.

“But even in the dark days, we could take heart as nature blossomed. As humans retreated, as industry and travel diminished, skies were cleaner, waters were cleaner. Animals and birds emerged even onto city streets. A sense of wonder enlivened our souls.

“As we move towards a new normal, our experiences have highlighted what we want to continue doing, being, thinking and saying, into the future.”

Escape to Cape Leveque by Bev Dowd: "I wanted to remind myself of the colour and sunshine of Cape Leveque, 200km north of Broome."

The exhibition includes paintings, ceramics and textiles by 11 artists from across the Goulburn Valley.

In the meantime, works from the group's new Lockdown Look Up exhibition can be seen on its Facebook page.