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Art Under Lockdown – DREAMING

Dreaming was the third theme in our series of workshops looking at how we were experiencing lockdown. The artists we chose for this session were the filmmaker Fellini, American Surreal painter Dorothea Tanning and two Aboriginal artists – Emily Kame Kngwarreye and her niece Kathleen Petwarraye. The Fellini excerpt we looked at was a part dream, part nightmare that saw a man floating on the end of a tall thread, like a balloon – free and not free. The clip ended with him being yanked back down to earth. Surreal is a word many of us would choose to use about Covid times and lockdown, and Dorothea Tanning took us into that world, with her brilliant paintings depicting the unsettling unspoken worlds hiding beneath the surface of daily life. It was the work of the Aboriginal artists we seemed to connect with most strongly in this workshop. Their paintings are in some sense sacred, honouring the land which they see themselves as only one element of, no more no less than the plants and the animals of the semi-desert which they call home. Many of us felt that our violation of the planet has contributed to this situation of lockdown; many of us had discovered through gardens, parks, the river, walks in nature, a reconnection with our own land that we yearned to acknowledge and rekindle. Some of us were inspired to do this in our own creative response to the workshop.

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