COVID-led public health restrictions around the world have shuttered public and private galleries, disrupting the established model by which artists bring work to public attention and forcing galleries to connect exclusively with audiences and collectors in the virtual world.
Commercial galleries are also using every online tool at their disposal to engage viewers. Nanda\Hobbs Gallery at Chippendale has been running Zoom seminars, streaming how-to video content, and running virtual exhibition tours and talks with exhibiting artists.
At Nanda\Hobbs James Powditch’s The Proposition, featuring mixed media works inspired by classic Australian films, has been pushed back to September. Powditch, a multiple Archibald Prize finalist, has a lot personally riding on this show.
“From my perspective, this show is important to get back in the game,” Powditch says referring to his three-year absence from the gallery circuit and his chance to cement his new relationship with Nanda\Hobbs. “It’s make or break for me. A year’s worth of income is dependent on those one or two weeks.”
Powditch speaks for many artists when he says he is finding this year’s rolling lockdowns more difficult to cope with than before. It’s never been tougher for artists, with bills to pay and many ineligible for lockdown grants.
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