Interrupted, a series of art works by Claudia Gurwitz, was inspired by and during the national lockdown last year, and is on exhibition at the Association for Visual Arts (AVA).
The contemporary artist noted that this piece is not only about the impacts of the lockdown, but also about her connection to nature. Ms Gurwitz’s oil-on-canvas paintings are “photo realistic” and suggest an abstract sense of nature.
“My interest was always working with plant forms. I’m not a botanist, more interested in the structure and form and colour, the contrast, and it happens to be plants. I also feel a connection with the natural world, we all living in this world and we are part of the environment,” Ms Gurwitz explained.
The Interrupted collection includes five sizeable (100cm x 140cm) artworks and eight smaller paintings that took her a year to complete.
“I titled it Interrupted in the sense that it’s an interrupted landscape. They’re realistic in sections but if you have a closer look they’ve been cropped and cut, there’s different plants in the mix so it’s a disrupted landscape.”
“It doesn’t make sense when you come up close but it sort of makes sense when you step away and that’s the interest for me. It almost looks hyper real from a distance and when you get closer you can isolate certain sections, you feel it is linked as the subject matter is plant form and it creates a curiosity and playfulness as well.”
Ms Gurwitz, a yoga instructor and mother of two, acknowledges that she began the artworks amid a period of negativity, but that she believes her work is symbolic of working through this difficult period.
“I started working with this concept during lockdown feeling the uncertainty of the times and feeling out of sorts, you walk around and people are wearing masks, it’s an uncomfortable time and I made uncomfortable imagery. But now that it’s been curated and its up on the walls I find the beauty in it. It’s not disturbing; it’s quite beautiful in its disconnectedness.
“It’s still disconcerting living in this time but I think people have found new ways to get on with things. We have to cope with the new normal and find ways of working with it and that’s what I’ve come out of with this process and end it on a positive note with this show.”
And she believes that the lockdown had a harmful impact on the natural world as well.
“We are intrinsically connected to nature and when we feeling out of sorts then nature is also slightly out of sync. Everyone has their own experiences with lockdown; it’s been all consuming in a lot of ways. My experience with nature is that it’s calming and uplifting, but I felt that the world was out of sorts, the world was not solid beneath our feet.”
The Interrupted artworks can be seen at the AVA gallery until Thursday July 8.