My name is Nicola Chambury and I am a local artist and also a volunteer at the Barn.
Although nothing beats seeing a work of art in the flesh, we can enjoy the collections of the great galleries of the world from the comfort of our own sofa! I am lucky to be able to carry on working in my studio, and as an artist am used to spending a lot of time alone. Jeanette Winterson wrote a piece in the Guardian about living in self isolation and how, as a writer, she is used to it, using a wonderful phrase that I might pinch some time:
"I know, though, that the Revenge of the Introverts isn’t easy for most people."
So for those of you who are struggling with the lockdown, here are some suggestions!
Many galleries have easy-to-use websites that allow you to browse their collections, and here are a few I have enjoyed looking at recently.
The Kröller Müller Museum in the Netherland is one of my favourite, and has a small but excellent collection of modern art, including many Van Goghs. It is in the Hoge Veluwe National Park, and when we can travel again, is well worth a visit for the art and for the surrounding, which can be appreciated in dutch style by bike!
Another of my favourite galleries is the Gemeente Museum in the Hague. Housed in a wonderful building, it has a great permanent collection and puts on interesting temporary exhibitions. It has some Mondriaan paintings, including his last great work, New York Boogie Woogie.
Other galleries you are more familiar with also have great websites:
National Galleries of Scotland
Guggenheim Museum, New York
Musée d’Orsay, Paris
Museum of Modern Art, New York
This includes a Käthe Kollowitz exhibition. She was wonderful printmaker between the wars in Germany, and the best by far of the German Expressionist printmakers
If you want to look at a particular painting or artist, Bridgeman have images of most artworks
Some galleries are also giving us some fun activities to ease the boredom:
Firstsite Gallery in Chicester has activity packs created by UK artists including Antony Gormley, Gillian Wearing, Idris Khan, Jeremy Deller, Mark Wallinger and more.
You are encouraged to recreate famous works of art with whatever is available in your house, and then post it online. The recreation of the Arnofini Wedding is a masterpiece! I suppose the easiest to recreate would be the nudes….!
The Stavanger Art Gallery has an ongoing project about the oil industry. There are many similarities between Stavanger and Aberdeen, and you might be interested in looking at this
Finally, it is just interesting to look at Hå Gamle Prestegard. As you will see from the picture, this rural art centre south of Stavanger has similarities with the Barn. You will also notice, however, how much money there is in Norway to spend on such places…