People Recreate Works of Art While in Quarantine: Part 2 – Rachel Levin, Art Lecturer

Rachel Levin, a popular art lecturer who often lectures at the Bernard Betel Centre for our weekly Tuesday Lifelong Learning Lectures, has provided a thoughtful and creative write-up for the Bernard Betel Centre community on how people are recreating works on art while in quarantine. Enjoy!

The combination of art and lockdown has inspired a surge of creativity in many homes. The result is a production of some truly amazing homemade masterpieces using items found at home.

Social media and the need to be busy and productive have opened up a whole world of new ways to interpret and think about art. Many items can be used to imitate details of an art work.

For some people, art is already an interest and a big part of their lives, while for others this process of recreation has actively brought art into their homes. It was an opportunity to explore something new, in a unique way.

Lies Geven is a creative person from the Netherlands. Last year during the first quarantine, Lies joined a creative worldwide Facebook group called “Themedayz”. The group recreates works of art and shares the photographs on line.

She shared with her aunt the recreation of Edvard Munch’s The Scream (1893), which is part of the Nasjonalmuseet collection in Oslo, Norway. For the sun set part of the painting Lies and her aunt used blankets and sheets.

This work of art was entered by craftsman Erik Bohlin. Erik is a development engineer who lives in Karlstad, Sweden. He has been interested in art since childhood. Erik works as an illustrator and as a set designer for a large part of his life.

The fresco by an unknown artist seen on the left, was recently uncovered on the wall of St. Cadoc at Llancarfan, a 13th century church in south Wales.

Erik is also interested in photography, and he uses humor as a form of expression in his photographs. On his Facebook Erik said: “There are so many horrible things in this world, so we must take care of all the joy we can give each other!”

Laura Hordern lives in Brighton, UK, and works as a counsellor/psychotherapist. During lockdown, the art recreations appealed to her because she found they were a really fun and creative outlet amidst the potential gloom of staying indoors.

On the left is The Tailor (1570-1575) by Giovanni Battista Moroni, which is part of the National Gallery collection in London. On the right is Laura’s recreation of it with her own image.

Conrad Lloyd is 14 years old student who lives in the Netherlands. His school closed in March 2020 due to COVID-19, and it was difficult for Conrad to generate any motivation to work. However, this activity of recreating art was great fun and a break from all the online instructions and half-hearted attempts at lessons.

Conrad recreated Giuseppe Arcimboldo’s The Librarian (1566), which is in the collection of Skokloster Castle, Sweden.

The recreation of Arcimboldo’s The Librarian was instigated as an assignment given to Conrad by his art teacher during lockdown. Conrad describes some of the process: “The facial details were cotton wool pads cut in half, taped together and stuck onto my face. I found the portrait expressions so funny I couldn’t stop giggling”.

Mair and Sarah Mills, mother and daughter, decided to recreate the Venus de Milo (130-100 BCE), which is part of the Louvre Museum collection in Paris.

Mother and daughter agreed to recreate Venus de Milo modestly just from the back. “This took hours, and so much white body paint that we haven’t got any left! We used old throws pinned up against a door, plus a wig that we dug out from a selection of dressing-up stuff. It was a lot of fun!”

Katy from Texas staged her little boy to recreate the Equestrian Portrait of Prince Balthasar Charles (1635) by Diego Velázquez, which is at the collection of the Prado Museum in Madrid.

Igor Dubanenko used his young son to model after The Duke of Urbino (1465-1472) by Piero della Francesca, part of the Uffizi collection, Florence.

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