July 30, 2021

How Would They Have Coped?

Beth Sangster

Oil Paint on CanvasThe Ronas, 202029.7 x 42 cm and 84.1 x 84.1 cm

At the height of isolation, I found myself wondering how artists of the past would have navigated the trialing times of Covid restrictions and enforced isolation. I questioned how such realities would have impacted their works. If in some dystopian world this had happened in their era rather than mine, how would art as we know it be redefined? I imagined galleries adorned wall to wall with portraits in face masks all two metres apart, the concept somewhat comical, however a sad reality of what we face in our present circumstances. As an attempt to escape and create an alternative existence, I realized this narrative I had created in my solitude, gathering inspiration in historically acclaimed artists. I find comfort and escapism in my alternative reality, as if perhaps what we face is a thing of the past, a chapter in our history books no longer told first hand by those who lived through it. I hope my work evokes a similar feeling in others, we all deserve our own escape.