21 June - 16 July
21 June – 16 July 2022
Tuesday – Friday 11am to 5pm,
Saturday 12pm to 4pm
Out of the pandemic emerged art founded on resilience, humour, absurdity, and the celebration of life.
Crucible is a fortyfivedownstairs group exhibition responding to the triumphs and tribulations that the artistic community faced during the 2020-21 pandemic. Bringing together ten artists, the exhibition explores the spectrum of effects that the pandemic had on artistic practices.
For two years, the world – especially those of us in Melbourne – was confronted by challenges during the pandemic. Thoughts of vaccine hesitancy, the spread of misinformation, and extended lockdowns had severe psychological consequences.
The effect of the pandemic on the visual arts community was similar. Artists faced many unprecedented interruptions – studio spaces were closed, exhibitions were postponed or cancelled, access to materials was halted, and many had loved ones to care for. The effect on artists varied widely; isolation encouraged frustrated artmakers to escape reality by looking inwards and focusing on their artistic practice. New techniques emerged and were developed, new mediums tried and tested, and different landscapes of the imagination were explored. Artists took the opportunity to reflect on past work and reconsider it in a new context. They found togetherness through collaborative projects with one another, developing our ideas about community, love, and the sustaining principles of a kinder world – a compassion that unites us in uncertain times.
Out of the pandemic emerged art founded on resilience, humour, absurdity, and the celebration of life. Not only had we found hope through the consumption of art – in music, books, and media – artists channelled their survival into and through their creative endeavours. This exhibition is a visual acknowledgement of the beacons of light, gems of hope, and human strength that we now irrevocably share in our collective conscience.