Artists create new work reflecting life during the pandemic for Edinburgh exhibition

New works of art created to reflect life during the pandemic will be going on display in Edinburgh this week as restrictions are eased in the city.

Hope, grief, survival, violence and solidarity are all explored in a major new exhibition at the Talbot Rice Gallery, which will also look at how perceptions of environmental issues and the climate crisis have changed over the past year.

The exhibition, which will run until the end of the Edinburgh Art Festival in August, will see artists use recordings of birdsong, discarded plastics, botanical drawings, 3D printing and music in their work.

Filmmaker and video artist Kahlil Joseph has created a news-style broadcast to create a portrayal of African-American experiences and black culture, examining the impact of the pandemic, the US elections and the Black Lives Matter movement over the last year.

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    Larry Achiampong’s work, Detention Series, sees punishment exercise lines, inspired by memes and trending hashtags, painted on classroom blackboards to explore the artist’s views on anti-racism.

    Anca Benera and Arnold Estefan have created a sculpture inspired by a deep-sea hydrothermal vent and the Tower of Babel to reflect their concerns about the encroachment of humans upon nature.

    Gabrielle Goliath’s video and sound installation features songs dedicated to, and chosen by, a survivor of rape in a work said to create “a powerful space for reflection”.

    Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg and Sascha Pohflepp work will examine the “dangerous colonial relationship” between people, nature and power.

    Exhibitions manager Melissa MacRobert with Larry Achiampong's work, Detention. Picture: Neil Hanna

    Gallery director Tessa Giblin said: “We want to look at what this pandemic year has meant to us from a variety of angles.

    "This includes viruses and their symbiotic relationship to evolution, the asymmetry of this pandemic and proof that we can, in fact, step off the train of progress, with artists attuning us to the natural world’s abundant production of bird-song or urban honey yield during 2020.

    "It also includes the very human experiences we have collectively encountered during lockdown – grief, pain, isolation and exhaustion – and an urge to support a new, sustainable relationship to the production of art.

    "We’re still holding out hope that this ever-increasing proximity to viruses as the polar caps melt, as wildlife are interfered with through marketisation and deforestation – this horrible awakening – will all lead to change.”

    Talbot Rice Gallery curator James Clegg is surrounded by Gabrielle Goliath's work for the exhibition. Picture: Neil Hanna

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    Neil McIntosh

    Exhibitions manager Melissa MacRobert has a closer look at Tonya McMullan’s installation at the Talbot Rice Gallery. Neil Hanna Photography 07702 246823


    Talbot Rice Gallery exhibition manager Melissa MacRobert inspects Sarah Rose's work, which has been made out of reclaimed plastics. Picture: Neil Hanna
    James Clegg, curator at the Talbot Rice Gallery, has a close look at a 3D printed model created by Anca Benera and Arnold Estefan.