Galleries and Museums Post-lockdown

 Galleries and Museums Post-lockdown

With the UK swinging back to a new normality, I’ve asked some of the artists we work with through the LEWIS Foundation about returning to galleries and museums as they reopen. I spoke to Katrīna Kucane and Yoel Raminsinfante, who graduated from Chelsea College of Art on a BA (Hons) Interior Spatial Design and a Postgraduate Diploma in Fine Art.

According to a poll taken last year before the first lockdown ended as museum and galleries preparing to reopen, the public appeared uneasy and not ready to return to galleries and museums. Even with all the preparation, most public collections and exhibitions moved to online spaces, with attendance to physical exhibitions impossible during the lockdown. A year later, we now see the cultural sector reopening and people planning their slow return to normality. Both Marina Ambrovic and Yayoi Kusama’s show have been pushed back to this year. After nearly a year of not visiting galleries and museums, what do artist think of returning to public exhibitions? Have they missed interacting with art enough to actively re-engage in visiting exhibitions? 

I asked a designer and artist who have prints of their end-of-year exhibition work in the Team LEWIS Exhibition, who shared their take on galleries and museums post-lockdown. 

Hi Joshua.

To answer your questions. What I think: The online platforms work in the art field up to a certain point, can be a nice tool to promote, inform, boost etc. But will never replace the physical engagement with the artwork within the physical space. 

These interactions bring a whole lot of new experiences to the audience and the work itself. At the same time, no matter how good the digital version can be, it is never the same as being inches away from a piece and witness materials, painting strokes and many other details depending on the media.

I will definitely visit a gallery over online shows. Although a few months ago, looking into painting as an expanded field, I got myself into moving images. I agree that this media works better than others on online platforms and engages viewers more. (Regardless of the spatial physicality of works, different media interacting in the same environmental setting as a Community ( gallery space ) deliver a better message, cultural and traditional.

The Call (2020-21)

Yeol then shared clips from some of his video work conducted during the lockdown. According to the artist, there has been quick experimental engagement with Instagram during lockdown due to covid19, which killed the city life for the artist and allowed for Black Lives Matters to gain international recognition.

Next, an interior design graduate, Katrīna Kucane, shared her thoughts on galleries and museums post-lockdown through an email conversation between her and me. 

JY: With the last 12 months of not visiting galleries or museums, will people return? Have they missed art enough to want to actively re-engage? 

KK: Yes, with museums gone, I do believe people will return. For a reason, people have missed public places and going somewhere, which reminds them of the times before the pandemic. I don’t think people would go crazy once museums open as they would be very cautious because no one wants to go through this again. But it is calming to know that places like museums will open soon, as I have missed visiting them, it is one of my favourite things to do on my days off - to walk around calmly, look at paintings and artworks, seeing people enjoy them as well, artists to sit with their pencils and sketchbooks and draw something from their favourite painting and not minding people standing behind them and admire their work. It’s like a different world. Also, virtual galleries have been presented during the lockdown period. It was a great idea to stay connected to art and exhibitions, but it is not the same experience as going to the actual space and seeing work up close and taking it all in. Museums and galleries can’t be easily replaced as they have been around for many years. The experience, the feelings are irreplaceable.

JY: Post-June 21 lockdown, what will you do? Will you visit an exhibition or art space? If so, which ones? If not, why not? 

KK: I would love to go and visit an exhibition or an art space because I had realised I didn’t take the full advantage of seeing amazing ones when I had the chance. And I don’t want to miss another opportunity. 

The exhibitions I would like to see are Yayoi Kusamas Infinity Mirror Room - Filled with the Brilliance of Life in London’s Tate Modern. I believe I had visited it before when I was younger. It truly was an amazing experience. Alice: Curiouser & Curiouser in V&A I assume would be quite an art show to see because it is exploring origins and adaptions in an immersive and theatrical show of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. These two would be the ones I really would like to see and wouldn’t like to miss. But I am definitely keeping an eye for free exhibitions and just revisiting the ones I have seen before. No matter what, they always bring me joy. 

Please visit these websites to find out more about Team LEWIS Foundation or my professional practice.


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