By Amale Freiha Khlat MRSS
It has been a long six weeks since I have been at home, trying to make sense of this lockdown, named: Covid 19. At the start of the week, silence is still dominating the city and mayhem the news. Looking at all the reports behind my different size screens, I can’t seem to see the end of it. Maybe in one month, three months or one year and half?
I was very fortunate to spend the past year with nine talented other artists who were all finalists for the Gilbert Bayes Award 2019/20.
We would meet every month and exchange experiences, compare issues and try to solve them around a pint of beer in the pub. I learned a lot from their work, which broadened my horizons and deepened my knowledge of the various approaches to contemporary sculpture. I especially enjoyed discovering the backstage at the V&A sculpture department, where we had the privilege of wandering in the restoration workshop and speaking with the sculpture conservator. We also met each month with select guest speakers, and it was so useful to hear a specialist lawyer talk to us about artists' rights, a photographer explaining the importance of archiving and taking photos of the different processes in sculpture, a gallerist and artist talking about the market, collectors and the role of the gallery, as well as an engineer to help us think further and bigger.
During the year we had the chance to apply to different competitions, and I was thrilled to be the lucky winner of the Spotlight Award!
These days, I have found time flying by and, strangely, my day is shorter. Some days I am transfixed by this war against the invisible enemy, I become statufied. I am still trying to absorb the new reality of our way of life. I am putting order in my home, deep cleaning, reading, drawing, shopping for food, helping my neighbours, looking after my family and walking my dog!
Every day I wake up it is as if we were Sunday, the streets are empty and the birds are calling. Oh, what beautiful tweets to re-live the same day over and over.
And everyday my thoughts are with my family, my friends, the past, the present and the future, and I continue to make progress on my new projects.