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Current Exhibition: Lessons from Lockdown: Learning from the Pandemic

Penny Siopis, Shadow Shame Again (2021)

As the COVID-19 crisis has unfolded, Peltz Gallery has commissioned a series of works under the heading Lessons from Lockdown: Learning from the Pandemic. This extraordinary set of new digital pieces explores how the crisis has impacted our daily lives in multiple ways. The pandemic exposed the depth of the fault lines of gender and racial inequalities. It revealed the relation between environmental and human health. And it produced the conditions for new practices of communication, new approaches to representation, and new daily rituals of comfort, rest and self-care.

Lessons from Lockdown: Learning from the Pandemic addressed all of these themes and more, bringing the particular insights of artists to bear on a crisis that has affected every aspect of culture and society.

In September 2021, we marked the launch of the final commissions by Aikaterini Gegisian and Victoria Ahrens with INTO VIEW, a short festival exploring new perspectives and practices in art discovered during the pandemic. In collaboration with Birkbeck Centre for Museum Cultures, we welcomed Dee Haughney (October Gallery) and Priyesh Mistry (National Gallery) for a discussion about contemporary practices of display. meanwhile in an abandoned warehouse podcast shared an episode about community radio and cultural democracy. And artists Bella Enahoro, Gabriele Uboldi, Tom McLean, Darren Hill, Amanda Chennell, and Emily Perzan presented new digital art and performance work exploring COVID isolation, 1970s LGBTQ+ London, algorithmic choice, walking as pilgrimage, the memories we attach to objects, and the boundary between inner thoughts and reality.

Read more and view the commissions below. All artworks have subtitles in English.

Aikaterini GegisianThe Manipulator Vlog, Episode 3 (2021)   

The Manipulator Vlog, Episode 3 documents the rural shift in Aikaterini Gegisian's life and work during the coronavirus crisis, set against the backdrop of her teenage magazine collection, which she rediscovered during the pandemic. The commission brings our attention and understanding to time passing, and to how daily life interweaves with larger histories. (View audio described version)

Victoria Ahrens, Noli Mi Tangere (2021)  

Noli Mi Tangere is a video collage featuring imagery created by the artist on the English south coast. Ahrens exposes and develops photographic plates on location, before then adding chalk and shale to the printed images. Referring to the isolation and the loss of touch during the pandemic, this process marks a desire for both bodily encounters and the landscapes from which we have been estranged. (View audio described version)

SIOPIS, Shadow Shame Again (2021)   

Penny Siopis’ video artwork responds to ‘the other pandemic’ of gender-based violence proliferating under lockdown in South Africa - a poetic evocation of ‘shadow shame’ as something that both embodies the loss of dignity and integrity, and offers fertile ground for empathy. (View audio described version).

PARIS PETRIDIS, treading water (2021)

Accompanied by composer Michalis Lapidakis’ music, photographer Paris Petridis’ haunting video features a series of photos, taken at a single beach in Thessaloniki during the pandemic, of people standing alone or socially distanced in the water. (View audio described version).

June Givanni and Jan Asante, And This Too Shall Pass: Decolonising Film (2020)

This film essay revisits the era of the Black Film Bulletin, founded by Givanni and Gaylene Gould at the BFI in 1993, retracing the iconic voices of Black artists, filmmakers and cultural commentators including John Akomfrah, Horace Ové, Nadine Marsh-Edwards, and Ngozi Onwurah. (View audio described version)


Veronica Betani and Rosina Maepa, Our Common Threads (2020)

Veronica Betani and Rosina Maepa live more than 1000km apart in South Africa and have never met. In this film, the two artists use WhatsApp to exchange details of their lives affected by COVID-19, before they each create embroidery inspired by the conversations. (View audio described version).

In Summer 2021, the artists revisited their collaborative artwork with Rewoven: A Conversation with Rosina Maepa and Veronica Betani. View the video (or audio described version).

Jennie Pedley, Particulate Matters 2.5 (2020)

Artist and NHS physiotherapist Jennie Pedley's film is inspired by research into links between the pandemic and pollution. Exploring the health of both the body and the environment, the artwork poses questions about how we can live now. Sound for the film is created by Mollusc Music. (View audio described version).