Introducing my artistic response to the new reality during Covid-19.
What is it?
‘Vibrations of the new reality’ is a new series of paintings I created in 2020.
The 8 paintings depict various states of being experienced by people during the Covid-19 pandemic. Based on honest conversations, the works are an interpretation of the feelings and emotions present during the second quarter of 2020.
I drew inspiration from what I heard and captured it in my expressive and symbolic style. The series represents a small snapshot of the myriad of emotions present in these weird times, but one that provides a glimpse into the worlds of other humans.
My intent is to create empathy. By recognising we have similar thoughts and feelings we can feel less lonely, knowing that we’re not alone in our experiences.
Why did I decide to paint this?
As the world was rapidly changing around us, I wanted to respond artistically to what’s happening around me. It’s something that was hard to ignore. An all-encompassing situation that changed a lot of things in everyone's lives. A topic of conversation at almost every occasion.
As an artist, I wanted to grapple with it myself and also understand where others are at. This project gave me the excuse to connect to other people (which was actually very useful as I’ve been slowly disconnecting without even noticing) It also gave me an artistic focusing north star, as well as a great learning opportunity.
I didn’t have anything specific in mind when I started. I did come up with the title and medium in advance, for the grant application, but the result is based on what I heard and my (unconscious?) interpretation of the words and ideas. And a process of interpretation, translation, experimentation, and iteration resulted in those 8 paintings that you can see today.
What was the process of making it?
It started with online research. I looked at what other artists are doing, how they are responding. A broad sweep of what the media is saying about the lockdown, what people are expressing in social media, but I found it too processed or too shallow so I decided to reach out to people and do my own research.
I’ve spoken to a small-business owner, a childcare provider, a person living solo, an extrovert, a party-loving introvert, a work-from-home office worker, and more. Those conversations were the primary source of my artistic response.
The artistic result
8 paintings depicting my interpretation of the vibrations I got. Depicting a range of emotions, coping mechanisms but also hope and the unexpected, yet present, bright-sides of this situation.
Ranging from surreal, to expressive, and symbolic. Painted with a limited palette of black and white with orange and a bit of blue.
I used a mix of expressive brushstrokes, linework, some works include words. A few paintings are painted flat with almost a hard edge. The various techniques represent the diversity of attitudes that I wanted to portray.
What was surprising?
I was positively surprised by the openness of people and the point of view that they brought to my consciousness to broaden my understanding. We all have our own perceptions of reality and we’re not always aware of what other people are going through.
The interviews I was able to conduct ‘for art research’ gave me a glimpse of those worlds that I was then able to share further through my art, which I hope creates more empathy.
I also learned how people cope and that, beyond the murkiness, there is hope. Hope in noticing the little joys, hope in gaining new experiences, and new perspectives on life.
You'll soon be able to see all the works at www. art-by-olga.com/vibrations. You’ll find a description of each painting there.
If you have a VR headset, you can also experience the work a Virtual Reality exhibition through @artGateVR
When restrictions ease I’d like to exhibit it in real life. Before then, I invite you to look at the good parts of life, the hope, and to focus on gratitude. That will help us get through.
Created with the support of the City of Melbourne COVID-19 Arts Grants.