At a particularly challenging time for the arts, it is more important than ever to promote aspiring artists, which is exactly what new art project Beyond Boundaries aims to do, writes Charles Harrison.
Tate Collective and Better Bankside are showcasing five new artworks by five emerging artists and they are being displayed in public spaces around Bankside.
Rachel Noel, convenor for young people’s programmes at Tate, said: “We hope these new works by incredible young artists can help people reconnect with each other and their communities.”
At just the right time to celebrate the easing of restrictions, the artists were asked to respond to the lockdown and its end.
The artworks are varied and often bold, colourful and full of joy.
They capture various aspects of lockdown with bursts of colour and text, encapsulating the stranger moments of the last year.
Better Bankside boss Nicole Gordon said: “These installations have been designed to encourage people to see spaces in new ways and inject a sense of optimism about the future.”
The artworks will be displayed for 12 months around Tate Modern and the Bankside neighbourhood, in Southwark Street, Gambia Street, St. Felix Place, Canvey Street and Great Suffolk Street.
The five artists, Koby Martin, Blk Moody Boi, Zeinab Saleh, Hannah Hill and Megan Visser, explored the theme from a variety of angles.
Introspective artist Koby Martin’s Spotlight Dreams draws from the history of performance, theatre and music in the area.
He uses the striking Ghanaian symbol, funtunfunefu denkyemfunefu or Siamese crocodile, to communicate the overarching theme of his work – unity.
Mr Martin said: “Art in any form has the ability to heal, restore, uplift and drive the spirits of us humans in many ways.”
“For me, the motive of being an artist has always been to give back.”
Meanwhile, co-founder of art collective Muslim Sisterhood Zeinab Saleh contributes her deeply personal approach with a piece that opens up a discussion on the role of music and creativity in daily life.
Her work connects songs which touch on moments of sadness, joy and happiness – continuing the theme throughout her work of connecting personal experience to the wider world.
A similar theme was explored by Megan Visser, who explored the ability of food to bring people together.
Her visually stunning artwork Gastro Gusto splays across the ground with a host of bright and striking colours, displaying parts of the body associated with the eating process, all while providing a real physical place for people to meet, eat, and reconnect.
The piece blurs together the biological and the social of the human experience – a perfect piece through which to explore the multitude of emotions as we recover from lockdown and look forward.
Each aspiring artist was paired with a mentor to guide them through the project.
Later in the summer, there will be a series of socially distanced activities that will bring together local youth groups for a live experience with the artworks.
The artworks will be displayed until May 26, 2022.
Main Pic: From left, Hannah Hill, Sharon Walters, Dreph, Koby Martin, Megan Visser, Julia Vogl Picture: Tate – Sam Day