Saturday 14th November - Locked down again in England, but art carries on at Westbury People's Gallery, Oxford
Since leaving quarantine at the end of August, I've been busy catching up on the work I had booked over the summer, mostly outdoor painting in and around Oxford. The weather is much colder than I'm used to in Panama but I've still been able to work outside. I'd usually be back in Isla Bastimentos sometime in October but have decided to stay in England at least until January before going back.
Tourism has opened up in Bocas del Toro and the beaches, restaurants and hostels are now open, with covid cases in decline. It seems that for now the strict lockdown over there has paid off. Lockdown is much more relaxed in England, with open schools and universities and many continuing to go to work so hopefully it'll be enough to bring down the spread.
I'm currently working at the Westbury People's Gallery which is situated in the front garden of a suburban house in Rose Hill, Oxford. Sculpture, paintings and prints of local artists are exhibited here, while the noticeboards facing the street display poems and posters. There is also a book and plant exchange which is popular and it will be a performance space in future as well.
My work here has involved building weatherproof display cases for the artwork and maintaining the structures around the gallery. I've really enjoyed working on the various projects here and can see the effect the artwork has had in raising the spirits of the local passers by. Much of the artwork is of a satirical nature, anti-Trump and anti-Brexit, and it really strikes a chord with people in these difficult, uncertain times. The social commentary with a dash of humour on display here seems much appreciated. I'm hoping to add some of my own artwork soon.
Visit the gallery online at www.facebook.com/Westbury-Community-Gallery-and-Performing-Arts-Space-112979206936951