It all happened so quickly. With no advance warning, we were locked down at home because of the pandemic, and some two months later we were allowed out. So are we back to normal, or is normality still distant? In that spirit of sudden changes and continuing uncertainty, we decided to hold an ‘instant’ exhibition showcasing art created during the Covid-19 quarantine period in Spring 2020. It reflects Negev artists' experiences and impressions of events in and around their homes, over those months.
The exhibition presents preliminary impressions rather than an in-depth survey of how the pandemic impacted on art. Artists from Be’er Sheva and the Negev were invited via a Call for Submissions to send their proposals. From them, the museum’s staff selected works by over fifty artists who live and work across southern Israel, in cities, kibbutzim and moshavim, and of course in Be’er Sheva and surrounding communities. Several themes emerged from the works sent in, and they were the guiding lines in organizing the exhibition’s structure.
It’s clear that the artists’ reactions to the new state of lockdown at home are no different from other people’s. Some experienced an upwelling of creativity, while for others it was a time of anxiety, loneliness, escaping reality by turning inwards; some found in the distinctive symbols of the Corona pandemic – the name and shape of the virus, the masks and precautionary measures – inspiration for making art; some observed and processed events inside the home; others expressed their longing for nature and open landscapes; some artists, with more time available to them, went deeper into their creative activities; others looked for new directions, in the unusual circumstances. A range of artistic means are shown in the exhibition – painting, photography, and sculpture, prints and drawings, illustration, design, video, textiles and ceramics, as well as surprising hybrid products.
For the first time in its history, the Negev Museum of Art brings together a great number of artists from the Negev in a single exhibition – artists and creators from various circles and of different ages. Their common denominator is the geographical setting. For several of them, proximity to the desert let them get out into the fresh air, plug into the landscape and let nature restore them, if only partially, from the enforced isolation. Looking inwards and the urge to go outside characterize many of the displayed works.
Our thanks to all the artists for loaning their works for the exhibition, and for their efforts and collaboration, and thanks to all the other artists who submitted proposals that were not included this time in the exhibition.
Curator: Dr Dalia Manor
Assistant curator: Nirit Dahan
Dor Adamshtein, Adiel Azrai, Yuval Shira Alaluf, Amit Amar, Shira Ariel, Eyal Assulin, Yael Azuly Navi, Roni Back, Pnina Barkai, Laura Behar, Sofie Berzon MacKie, Ziva Boussiba, Gilat Cherkasky, Yael Cina, Shula Covo, Shulamit Davidovicz, Ofra Erel, Limor Frumerman, Ron Gang, Moshe Gordon, Ruth Gresser, Ilan Ifergan, Ziva Jelin, Gabriella Kave, Haran Kislev, Hagar Knafo, Ariel Leshinsky, Yona Levy Grosman, Hadar Lotan, Haim Maor, Daniella Meller, Ann Mishaeli, Merav Morad, Zohar Morag, Amnon Navon, Dafna Nissim, Jenny Preminger, Iris Resch, Ravit Revivo Nemet, Tamar Roded Shabtay, Viti Rosenzweig Kones, Irene Rozenblium, Lena Silberberg, Natalia Stangrit, Daniel Toledano, Carol Troen, Hani Tsori , Eran Tzelgov , Olga Vayshbein , Daphna Wysokier Dishi, Ayelet Zer Sheinboim, Adi Ziv
Be'er Sheva municipality
Ministry of Culture and Sport