The Lockdown Collection announces The Extension campaign
Posted on 19 May 2020
"In terms of artistic response to Covid-19, The Lockdown Collection is the most significant initiative in the art world, on planet earth, right now".
This is what Professor Mark Auslander, from Central Washington University in the USA, said about The Lockdown Collection - a bold charitable initiative that has already raised over R2 million for artists and for the Solidarity Fund, while also serving as an incubator for the visual arts.
The Lockdown Collection - or TLC - is the brainchild of Carl Bates (Chief Executive of Sirdar Group), Lauren Woolf (Founder and Owner, MRS WOOLF) and Kim Berman (Founding Director Artist Proof Studio; Professor of Visual Arts, UJ). The idea was to curate and auction a collection of Covid-19-related artworks by renowned South African artists, with the proceeds going into a fund which would, in turn, support artists during the Covid-19 pandemic.
"The pandemic and the lockdown have a significant impact on us all. For the artists of the world, the realities of Covid-19 provide powerful subject material and inspiration. Yet at the same time, the lockdown is affecting their ability to earn a living through the creation of their art. We cannot afford to lose our artists or their incredible artworks - especially not now, when we need them to bear witness to this moment in time," says Berman.
The Lockdown Collection: a R2 million success story
In just two days, from conception to roll-out, the TLC team launched a 21-day lockdown campaign - called The Lockdown Collection, commencing on 27 March 2020.
Each day, the campaign revealed the artwork by a participating artist - among them, Penny Siopsis, Sam Nhlengethwa, Diane Victor, Ardmore Ceramic Art, Gerhard Marx and Thenjiwe Nkosi. The foundation piece, a drawing by William Kentridge, entitled Where shall we place our hope, was sold for R500 000, which established the Fund prior to the auction.
The Unlocking Event auction held on 19 April, 202 and hosted by Aspire Art Auctions, was conducted via a unique live webinar session and each piece was sold at (or very close to) market value totaling a staggering R2 million.
An immediate initial donation of R250 000 was donated to the President's Solidarity Fund, as well as instant allocations to the Vulnerable Visual Artists Fund (a fund established by TLC). This Fund has paid out grants to over 100 vulnerable artists, to date.
The TLC Extension Collection
The incredible support for The Lockdown Collection campaign created a powerful movement within the arts community; artists reached out to the TLC team, wanting to support the project. When the President announced the extension of the lockdown, the TLC team saw an opportunity to extend the initial campaign and build on its successes.
"We had hoped to start a movement, which would create a sustainable source of support for the arts community. The Extension Collection, as we have called it, is the manifestation of this," explains Woolf.
The Extension Collection's curator, artist and University of Johannesburg Senior Lecturer, Gordon Froud, reached out to artists across South Africa, including those who had expressed an interest to contribute, inviting them to participate, to reflect on life during Covid-19 through their art. The result is a collection of 21 extraordinary works - everything from drawings, to prints, sculptures and photographs - created by some of the country's most respected artists, including Susan Woolf, Michael Meyersfeld, Marco Cianfanelli, Vusi Beauchamp, Robyn Penn, Themba Khumalo and Sifiso Temba - to name a few.
These Extension Collection artworks will be available for purchase from 25 May 2020, via an online storefront hosted by the TLC's key partner, Artist Proof Studio. The proceeds of the sale (as well as any donations received) will again be directed to the President's Solidarity Fund and the Vulnerable Visual Artist Fund.
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