Campbeltown Courier

Young artist’s breathtaki­ng lockdown art work revealed

Organisers planning another showcase

- by Hannah O’Hanlon editor@campbeltow­ncourier.co.uk

One of the organisers of a project showcasing youngsters’ lockdown artwork said one painting ‘literally took his breath away’.

Gigha-based Kenny Wilson was one of several youth workers and artists from across western Argyll who encouraged 11- to 17-year-olds living within the catchment areas of Campbeltow­n, Tarbert, Lochgilphe­ad, Islay, Oban and Tobermory secondary schools to submit any kind of visual artwork.

It came after a conversati­on and shared concerns about the wellbeing of young people during the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown.

It was designed as a way of inspiring artistic young people to do something outwith the school curriculum. The results proved to be quality over quantity with just two submission­s which were exhibited via a dedicated Instagram account.

Kenny interviewe­d one of the young artists – known only as ‘G’ in accordance with the project’s safeguardi­ng policy – to find out what motivated her to take part and why she submitted the image she did.

G, who was joined by her parents during the interview, said: ‘I used a photo taken pre-Covid of my best friend, who I was really missing.

‘I loved the photo as, in real-time, it was an incredibly happy moment. We were both laughing a lot, so the creation of this painting was, at times, an overwhelmi­ng emotional process, taking me through the space of disconnect and isolation.’

Kenny said: ‘Only four or five times in my life have I looked at a painting or image and had a really strong emotional reaction to it. Sometimes this has happened to me in an art gallery, at other times in exhibition­s, but on this occasion it was G’s image that affected me so. It literally took my breath away.

‘I discovered that G submitted this image because it

‘The creation of this painting was, at times, an overwhelmi­ng emotional process taking me through the space disconnect and isolation’

expressed how she felt at the time of lockdown: trapped, lacking motivation and missing friends. G could have submitted other images from her personal portfolio but she told me this one spoke loudest of all.’

G described the artistic process of bringing the image to life: ‘I used acrylic paint with a dry brush technique, taking a highly saturated colour palate ranging from warm purples, through reds, orange and yellow spectrums, painted onto a black base canvas.

‘The style was inspired particular­ly by the work of Scott Hutchison, who explores time and the ‘self’, creating extreme, expressive faces in a saturated colour palate. He challenges our perception­s, testing what is real or an illusion, just as my happy photo moment flipped to a darker, tethered place.

‘I also drew on the early work of Ken Currie whose study of Glasgow’s industrial workers as unsettling pale shadow figures standing alone and partially visible, in a world in isolation, really influenced how I felt.’

Kenny said: ‘The interview I had with G was as fascinatin­g as the image she shared which, for me, aptly described the feelings so many young people expressed during lockdown. I am glad she was brave enough to submit this because it has become my ‘image of the past year’, one that even Covid could not suppress.’

The organisers are planning to hold another youth art showcase in 2022 but, as suggested by G, they will wait until after exam season in the hope of encouragin­g more young people to take part.

 ??  ?? Artwork by a youngster known as ‘S’ also impressed the project’s organisers, who plan to hold another youth art showcase in 2022.
Artwork by a youngster known as ‘S’ also impressed the project’s organisers, who plan to hold another youth art showcase in 2022.
 ??  ?? Right: G’s inspiring painting.
Right: G’s inspiring painting.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom