What’s On: Wimbledon Art Fair Online from May 14-17

Professional artists will showcase powerful and moving works in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, as part of Wimbledon Art Fair Online from May 14-17.

The fair will include an online exhibition of thought-provoking artworks that depict defining moments of the epidemic in Britain.

Artists will be donating a percentage of their total sales in support of the NHS and St George’s Hospital, Tooting.

From the brave risks of frontline staff, living apart together, the importance of contact, to the sorrows of social distancing, fear of the invisible danger, and the nation’s obsession with loo roll, Art SOS will explore the extreme human emotions which are being exposed during this crisis.

Emily Robson, studio manager at Wimbledon Art Studios, said: “Right now, we are more aware than ever of how small businesses and artists need our help and we want to do our best to do as much as we can.

“This show we will charge no fee to our artists to take part and no commission will be collected on any sales made.”

“Although we are sad that we cannot physically welcome visitors through the doors in May we are excited to have this chance to showcase the amazing work our artists do here to a potentially wider online audience.

Images from Georgia Kitty Harris’ Isolation Archive

“The beauty of an online audience is they can see our wonderful works even if they are the other side of the world.”

Highlights of the Art SOS exhibition include Georgia Kitty Harris’s The Isolation Archive, a series of portraits based on world-wide submissions from the public including NHS nurses, which documents how we are all living apart together.

Georgia said: “Everyone’s individual stories are fascinating, even though we’re collectively facing the same thing.

“Being able to draw people’s faces from all around the world is just one artist’s way of showing how we are facing it together.”

Roberta Volpe’s painting explores the sorrow of social distancing, while documenting 2020 as the year that we rediscovered the importance of human contact.

She said: “What struck me the most about this pandemic is the inability to stay close to loved ones but even more so, the inability to say goodbye to them.

“This made me realise the importance of a hug like never before. While painting this, I thought about the many images I have seen of grandchildren greeting their grandparents from the window and the stories of those that were unable to say goodbye to loved ones.”

Mike Thebridge, will create a series of captivating portraits with face masks as a permanent reminder of the invisible danger.

He said: “Face masks are a visible reminder of the invisible threat and symbolise the brave risks the frontline staff take daily to keep us safe and keep our society running.

“It also represents the severance of human connection we’ve experienced through social distancing.

“Art, and portraits in particular, help us explore each other and express our experiences of others.

“No longer do we catch a stranger’s eye and share a smile; all we see is scared, confused eyes staring from behind a mask, across a 2m void. Now, more than ever, we need art to foster deep connections with others.”

The Wimbledon Art Fair Online will be hosted at www.wimbledonartfair.com

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