Sputnik Faith and Arts We’re keeping our online exhibitions alive – join in and submit your work

We’re keeping our online exhibitions alive – join in and submit your work

I’m fascinated to see how our relationship with the online world will change as we move past this phase of the COVID pandemic. The virtual world has operated like a life raft in the last 16 months. As we were cast from the ocean liner of in-person meet ups and events, we reached out for help, and there it was! Zoom and her digital friends, smiling down at us, throwing us a big rubber ring and welcoming us aboard. 

As the ocean liner gets itself back up and running again, we’ll all end up cutting back on the virtual, in favour of the physical, and rightly so. There may even be some kickback against the platforms that stopped us going under for the last year or so, simply because they act as painful reminders of a very difficult season. However, I can’t imagine that we are going ditch them completely. The life raft didn’t just stay afloat, it exhibited a degree of comfort and manoeuvrability that will make it a viable option for the foreseeable future. 

For artists, the ocean liner’s services were not just missed in regards to our personal social needs though. We needed a life raft, but our artwork needed one too, meaning that we’ve had to work doubly hard to adapt. Some of us have skilled up on our live streaming, others have upped our game on Insta and TikTok. 

And, tech companies have responded to our needs. One of the examples of this response has been in the realm of virtual exhibition spaces. Admittedly, in Spring 2020, these were almost universally clunky and user unfriendly, but they’ve evolved at pace and we’ve been pleasantly surprised at the improvements that’s occurred in this area since then.

So pleased, in fact, that when we were recently asked to set up an online gallery for the Catalyst Festival, we decided to keep paying our subs once the exhibition finished and we’re keen on exploring whether it will serve artists going forward.

If you’ve not seen it yet, we recommend checking out our first online exhibition entitled ‘The Year that Wasn’t’. It’s a collection of work that was made during the pandemic by artists in the network.

But you won’t have forever to do it, as in September, we’ll be putting up our next exhibition. This will feature new work from artists who are in and around the Sputnik network, and if you think that may describes you and you’d like your work to feature, get in touch. All you need to do is send us your submission with your name, place of residence, link to online work and a brief description of the piece of work and we’ll decide on the final selection by the end of August.

I, for one, am very glad that society is opening up again. I’m very pleased that I can now welcome people into my house without doing a headcount at the door, and I’m also looking forward to experiencing art live again, including visiting actual, physical, real world exhibitions. I hope that they will always be the primary way that art is experienced but if they can be helpfully supplemented by online experiences, all good!

To that end, check out our present online exhibition (below) and come back in September for our next offering. It may be just a temporary thing, while we slowly return to the cruiser or it may last into 2022 beyond. 

I think it’s fair to say that, as artists, we need all the life rafts we can get, so we plan to keep it going for as long as it provides a service. 

You can use the menu button in the top-right corner of the gallery to view in fullscreen – or alternatively, open the gallery in its own browser window.

Click on an individual piece of work, and click the ‘i’ button to see more details about that piece, including the artist’s website.

Read More

Sputnik Faith and Arts Explore our virtual gallery for the 2021 Online Catalyst Festival

Mon 24 May, 2021

Explore our virtual gallery for the 2021 Online Catalyst Festival

Visit 'The Year That Wasn't', a collection of work from Sputnik artists spanning the last year of our community life.

Sputnik Faith and Arts Get six months’ free listing in the new Christian Creative Directory

Wed 28 Apr, 2021

Get six months’ free listing in the new Christian Creative Directory

A great opportunity for any freelancers looking to find work in the Christian sphere

Sputnik Faith and Arts To keep the arts alive, we need a lot more imagination

Tue 13 Apr, 2021

To keep the arts alive, we need a lot more imagination

The arts were uniquely unprepared for the pandemic, but the biggest issues have existed for decades. We need some radical reinvention, for the sake of our society's common life.

Sputnik Faith and Arts Are you a patron, or a consumer?

Wed 24 Feb, 2021

Are you a patron, or a consumer?

How we engage with art makes an impact on artists and their industries. If we all act as 'consumers', the consequences could be dire.

Sputnik Faith and Arts Don’t patronise artists by not patronising artists

Fri 05 Feb, 2021

Don’t patronise artists by not patronising artists

When it comes to church and art, there is certainly a disconnect regarding money. Although this is only one of many reasons churches and artists often miss each other, it is an important one.

Sputnik Faith and Arts 2020 by Artists: Looking forward to new things

Wed 23 Dec, 2020

2020 by Artists: Looking forward to new things

Jonny finishes off his reflections on 2020 with four more artworks from around the Sputnik network that all look beyond the trials of today and draw us into a better tomorrow.