6 July 202011:00 am
Art Under Lockdown – NATURE
Nature was the first theme in our series of workshops looking t how we were experiencing lockdown. The artists we chose for this session were the French painter Paul Cezanne, American Georgia O’Keeffe and British Turner Prize winner Chris Ofili, now living in Trinidad. All three of these artists at some point in their lives retreated away from society into Nature, to immerse themselves in a daily connection with the world about them. Cezanne saw the connection between all things – between a mountain and a leaf, between two brushstrokes upon a canvas – all things bound above all through colour. We looked in particular at the final paintings he made as an old man, of his similarly old gardener; through colour and brushstroke, the man of plants dissolves into the very nature he so loves. Georgia O’Keeffe moved to the desert, and entered into the world of plants; her canvases are filled with the unfurling centres of flowers and leaves. Chris Ofilii left the high life in London for a life of tropical plant and colour in the Port of Spain. We were very drawn to his glorious paintings of life and wonder, even with their dark and brooding edges. Many of us found a great consolation in Nature during lockdown, and we understood this absorption with the beauty and truth of the natural world, so different from the crazy stories of the bigger human world in which we live. Many of us responded creatively to this workshop with our own beautiful images of gardens, flowers, houseplants, fallen leaves.