St Luke the Evangelist (2020)
Oil on Board
305 x 305mm
Director of Percy Thomson Gallery in Whakaahurangi / Stratford, Taranaki, asked if I’d submit work for the exhibition, Reflections: The Art of Lockdown, on 18 December 2020 to 24 January 2021. I showed my second painting in a series of works that depicts some of the people who led New Zealand’s response to Covid-19 as saints.
The work and my artist’s statement also appeared in an article about the Lockdown exhibition on the NZ Herald website.
Taranaki Covid-19 experiences put on display in art exhibition
12 Jan, 2021 08:32 PM
By: Rhonda Bunyan
Reflections –the Art of Lockdown is an inspirational and thought-provoking exhibition featuring the work and words of 72 Taranaki artists who share their Covid-19 lockdown experiences through their artwork in Percy Thomson’s major end-of-year exhibition.
The exhibition focuses on artwork produced during the lockdown period and also post-lockdown, in a reflective capacity. It will appeal to your eyes and your heart!
Some artists found lockdown stifling to their inner creative soul and struggled to undertake any creative endeavour during quarantine. One artist confided that she totally ‘dried up’ and couldn’t bring herself to pick up a paintbrush.
Others embraced the ‘enforced break from normal life’, relishing the ensuing spare time and isolation, seeing it as a ‘gift’, and put it to good creative use.
Artist Suraya Sidhu-Singh was moved to paint a portrait of this country’s director general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield, a face we all became familiar with in his daily Covid-19 updates.
Here is what Suraya says of her artwork, St Luke the Evangelist:
‘Many saints were people who became venerated because they led others through difficult times like Covid-19. Ashley Bloomfield isn’t a saint, but images of saints only in part show saints – they mostly describe the artist, their community and their time.
“St Luke the Evangelist is the patron saint of doctors. His sidekick is a winged calf, which for me is a jersey calf in a Taranaki landscape. (If asked what kind of cows he had, my dairy-farming grandfather from Egmont Village would reply, ‘There is only one kind of cow.’)
“I gave the calf the wings of a kea, because its cleverness and capacity to learn seem like qualities you’d want on your side when you’re fighting a global pandemic. So, this is one of the thousands of images of St Luke the Evangelist that have been made throughout history – but this one was made by me, to be seen by you, in this place, at this moment.”
The exhibition is diverse and covers a wide range of medium; art, poetry, mixed media.
Artists provide an overview of their creative process, so viewers can appreciate the art and also have entry into the personal realm of the artist’s own unique perspective.
The exhibition runs until January 24.