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Art: QUARANTINED #3


To go out or not to go out, that is the question (plus the 14,253,826,373 other speculated questions by the British public). May is proving to be a testing month for many as the summer warmth starts to creep around the corner tempting us from the confines of our locked-up homes. If I'm being honest, I am now very accustomed to this slower and restricted way of life despite missing the excitement of last-minute after-work drinks and holiday countdowns. To all those who long for the end of lockdown, nothing is forever! and everyone's health is more important than picnics in the park. Although UK guidelines surrounding #lockdown may be easing slightly, this doesn't mean we're in the clear just yet, so let's stay at home and read this instead.

Without delay, your fortnightly splash of art to brighten your day and get those creative juices flowing is here once more!


Mona Chalabi

Art by Mona Chalabi - More from this artist

Mona Chalabi

If there was ever a time to wise up on what's going on in our world then it's now. It is so easy to refer back to the same old sources for information and updates despite there being a goldmine of interesting and (more) reliable news outlets a mere Google away. If you're a visual person and keen to get a different perspective, I'd like to introduce you to Mona Chalabi, the artist that makes statistic friendly artwork (backed up by data she's analysed).

She is very vocal on a plethora of political issues from immigration and housing rights to family issues and healthcare, with a clear focus of representing the unrepresented. Her work makes it very easy to digest large quantities of data and most importantly, it enables you to see statistics as people and not just numbers. In a media-obsessed world like the one we live in, it can be easy to become complacent whilst discussing sensitive topics such as death, as a result of being bombarded with information 24/7.

At the moment, her artwork is primarily focused on COVID-19 such as this one and that one. It's important to not forget the facts as we go through this global crisis and allow the most vulnerable to slip through the cracks.

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Henn Kim

Art by Henn Kim - More from this artist

Henn Kim

Captioned as #stuck this image screamed out to me last week. Our limited freedom has been designed to keep society safe and as long as we continue to embrace this isolated living, we will make it out the other side. However, there is always rain before a rainbow, and these never-ending days and weeks of confinement are exhausting. There are days where I don't even go out at all and I do find my mind wanders. What a dream it would be to leave the house and do as you please. I long to run, explore, travel, dine out and enjoy a whole day of sunshine, returning home with burnt shoulders and grass stains. I can't wait to get back to that way of living but, for the time being, I will be staying at home and isolating.

The simplistic yet refined skill of the illustrator makes the image come to life. Who needs colour when life can be drawn so vividly in black and white? Her work encompasses the modern realities of crestfallen teens feeling misunderstood and sleep-deprived millenials struggling to hold onto their love/work life. Through the power of just a black pen, everything Henn creates feels hopelessly romantic yet tragic. As you scroll through her portfolio, you feel a deeper sense of self as your hopes, desires and worries are recreated before your eyes in the shapes of shadows and planets.

Side note: for those more beady-eyed than others, you may have noticed that this artist is actually the illustrator of Sally Rooney's novel Normal People. It is the perfect collaboration of varied artistic talent in my mind with themes going hand in hand.

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Liz Climo

Art by Liz Climo - More from this artist

Liz Climo

Artist Liz Climo draws unlikely animal friendships who discuss the silly, the sensitive and the sad things in life. Think of any animal and she's most likely created a comic strip about them... Rhino on a Zoom call? Tick. A tortoise drinking a milkshake? Tick. The simplicity of the artwork makes it all the more meaningful, allowing the viewer to appreciate the message Liz intends to relay.

This artist was recommended by my gorgeous friend Ellie and I think the image above is bang on the money when it comes to how many of us are feeling right now. Thinking about it, it doesn't help that British society tends to have a 'behind closed doors' attitude when it comes to pretty much anything (including our emotions). It sometimes feels a lot easier to deal with your sadness, grief, anger and anxieties alone, instead of worrying about whether you're causing a scene or annoying someone. In reality, we all have bad days, weeks, months and years so we should probably start working on an alternative...

This is just a little reminder to check in on your nearest and dearest when you have a moment. My only advice would be not to take 'Yeah I'm OK' as a point-blank answer, not for your loved ones and not for yourself either.

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POPPY MILLAR

Hi, I'm Poppy

Feminism, creativity, exploring the world & having a good time are really important to me. If you liked the above, why not subscribe to my newsletter? This is just the beginning.