Hero photograph
Screenshot from art video La Notte / The Night (2022)
Photo by Simon Swale

Love, Loss and Loneliness in the Age of Isolation

Lesley Brook —

The pandemic has inspired artists to express in their artworks the experiences they shared with others.

The global COVID-19 pandemic denied artists the opportunity to exhibit their work, but the curated exhibition SMCK ON REEL provided a creative solution - the first international video festival inspired by jewellery and wearable art. Jewellery artist Simon Swale at Otago Polytechnic was one of 60 participating artists. The exhibition was first presented as part of Schmuck, Munich's annual international jewellery week, and will show as part of Romanian jewelry week in Bucharest before heading on to Leipzig.

Simon's film, La Notte / The Night, attempted to capture something of the atmosphere of the pandemic, the sense of disruption not just of our lives, but our very sense of a life. 

Like some contemporary Divine Comedy, we all exist, waiting, in some form of purgatory for this nightmare to end. Time itself seems somehow altered. Time seems suspended beyond our usual experience. Lockdowns situate us in a perpetual present, waiting and hoping. 

The video medium enabled Simon to provide a sense of narrative to the display of his jewellery pieces. This work was a memoriam to those who have passed and whose who have endured - and for what has been endured. It is made in the belief that after this dark night will come a new dawn.