Oriel Lockdown

Oriel Lockdown

June 21st – Sept 5th

This exhibition celebrates the value that the arts have played over the period of the pandemic. With most of us confined to our houses and the local vicinity, we noticed on social media that a huge amount of people including amateur and professional artists were turning to art and creativity to see them through. We wanted to capture a snapshot of this unprecedented time where we have collectively had to face an overwhelming, extraordinary and uncertain situation, and so decided to make an open call out to submit works that were created during lockdown and responded to the pandemic.

We received over a 1,000 submissions on Instagram and email. Anthony Shapland, curator at g39 gallery, Cardiff and Ffion Rhys, curator at Aberystwyth Arts Centre spent much time deliberating on how to select from such an enormous amount of submissions. With all the galleries, theatres, cinema’s and cultural venues closed, the sheer volume of artworks submitted is testament to the role that art plays in people’s lives, and what struck us was how ‘making’ and creating has played a huge role in alleviating anxiety and promoting wellbeing through this difficult time. The story behind the creation of the artwork therefore became as important to us as the actual artefact, creating an interesting discussion between ‘professional’ and outsider art. We hope that you will take some time to read some of the extraordinary stories in this exhibition that includes nearly 400 pieces of work by 160 artists using all kinds of mediums from the much-needed toilet rolls at the time to diaries, painting, drawing, photography, film testaments and installation.The artworks take over the whole Arts Centre and speak of the unease of confinement, walks that rediscover your square mile, the joys of nature and gardening, our eccentric hobbies, resourcefulness and the celebration of our National Health Service and its incredible staff. Thank you all for taking part and sharing your stories.

A Friends of the Arts Centre prize of £500 will be given to one artist, and we would like to say a huge thank you to the Friends for making this possible. There will also be a chance for you to choose your favourite in the People’s Choice Award.

There will be a series of lunchtime events to coincide with the exhibition where artists from different art forms will respond to the show. Further details to be announced soon.

To view the exhibition we ask you to book in advance, giving you half an hour in the space, book below:

30 August-5 September



Main Image:
Angharad Pearce Jones Yr ochr arall i'r ffens / The other side of the fence, Installation inside artist's home

Thumbnail Image:

Richard Batrick @rb_ffotograffiaeth, Connection Island, digital photograph