Should we be in need of a reminder, lockdown has provided it: our appreciation of a work of art can depend on experiencing it in the context for which it was created; the vacuum of an online viewing is no substitute. Bishop Bell of Chichester understood the connection when, at the height of World War Two, he combined his passion to revive a relationship between art and the church with a desire to give commissions to artists who were struggling to earn a living in war-time, as they are again in pandemic times.
About Barbara Lewis
Posts by Barbara Lewis:
In times when many of us have been wondering why we didn’t get ourselves stranded near a Caribbean beach, Matthew Kneale decided there was nowhere on the planet he would rather be locked down than where he was in his adoptive city of Rome.
At the start of 2020, Southwark Playhouse commissioned a group of playwrights to write short plays. The aim was for them to be performed on stage by the Elders Company, the playhouse’s drama group for anyone aged 65 and over, but then lockdown came along.
A fellow pupil of Leipzig master Bernhard Heisig is the artist ANTOINETTE, who uses only her first name written in capitals. In common with Rauch and other Leipzig artists, she combines meticulous representation with the fantastic or surreal.
In a time of bitter, divisive politics, the positive, as well as the negative aspect of the COVID-19 pandemic is that it is truly global: people everywhere feel the same fear, sorrow and frustration at the same time.
C.J. Cooke, also known as Carolyn Jess-Cooke, is formidable in her achievements. An award-winning poet, novelist, academic and mother of four, her latest work is a text-book example for her creative writing students of how to write a tense page-turner that presses all the right buttons.
Even more than an outpouring of passionate pacifism, Benjamin Britten’s Owen Wingrave is a universal exploration of the heroic strength of character required to reject decades of blind allegiance to an unholy cause.
Grange Park Opera Interim Season. Simon Keenlyside: An Autumn Walk in Wales (available online). Review by Barbara Lewis: Context is all, says Simon Keenlyside, as for the second time this year he delivers a musical tour of his own personal context – the woods around his Welsh home.
Before lockdown, Bewley’s Café Theatre in the bustling heart of Dublin was the place to grab a short lunch-time play, a bowl of soup – and maybe even chat up a stranger. For now, those days are gone, but Bewley’s has joined forces with online events company The Lock Inn to open the tiny venue to a potentially limitless audience.
The Dirty 30 II: Electric pay-per-view. Review by Barbara Lewis. Instead of loud applause and cheers, “you were spectacularly fabulous,” pops up on the side of the screen from an online viewer, as the imaginary curtain goes down on the Degenerate Fox theatre’s online adaptation to the times we’re in.