Class of 2020 showcases a surreal year through art
'Kathleen Cleaver in a moment of Contemplation', by Susan Bryan
An unusual art exhibition that tells the story of the year through the eyes of 160 artists is now open at Surrey Quays.
Class of 2020 is the brainchild of its curator, Southwark-based artist, Rod Kitson, who extended an open invitation to all artists to submit their work, with the only criterion being that it had to have been produced in this calendar year.
Rod explained that exhibition aims to document the experience of artists during these very challenging twelve months. Each artwork has a tale to tell, from drawing models online because real world art classes have had to close, to expressing feelings and reactions to spending more time alone, or reflecting on, and documenting the world around them.
Rod added that the response had been “incredible,” with 270 works of art coming from about 160 artists, ranging from full-time creatives, to others of all levels of experience, and from all walks of life and age groups. Submissions have come in from as far afield as Uruguay, Chicago, New Jersey, Dubai, Malaysia, France and Belgium.
'The Dali House', by Gordon Stewart
The gallery is a riot of colour featuring works in a variety of styles and media, from
painting to sculpture, photography, collage and even political satire. Some of the work was finished especially for the show, such as the portrait, “Girl with the Yin Yang Earring,” by Michael Riddle. Others were produced in online drawing sessions, such as Sylvia Difino’s “Popcorn Art,” featuring many portraits on paper on sale for £3 each, the price of a packet of popcorn. A scene of blood donors socially distancing in a queue in London, “The Girl with Shiny Boots,” by Phil Bartle, was painted during the summer in the first lockdown.
'Girl with a yin yang earring' by Michael Riddle
Most of the work is on sale — from £3 to £1,400 — and can be viewed in an online catalogue here, together with each artist’s story about each piece work, as well as in the gallery.
Class of 2020 runs from December 10 until December 23.