Take time to celebrate the beauty of nature
Art can prompt us to reflect upon things that are important to us, such as family and memories of loved ones. It can also remind us to treasure the breathtaking natural beauty of the world around us. Titled 'Large Schoener Goetterfunken XVI, Flowers it calls forth from their buds', this work by Sebastiaan Bremer draws upon a photograph taken by his parents during a family holiday in the Swiss Alps, when the artist was a young boy. Bremer has meticulously painted on the image’s surface, creating intricate layers of vibrant dots – a technique he first adopted in 2000, to explore the notion of memory and time. The artist explains: "the mark making which I found as my mode of expression is truly mine. It is my way of putting myself with a mark into the picture, changing it, making my point of view visible inside the photographed reality."1
Catch a tantalizing glimpse of infinite sky
Watching the world from your window? Artist Liu Weijian depicts scenes observed through doors and windows – providing a tantalizing glimpse of other worlds just beyond his canvas. The Shanghai-based painter is fascinated by interior and exterior spaces, capturing everyday objects, scenes and natural phenomena that might otherwise go unnoticed. His landscapes are characterized by a sense of anonymity and vastness and often feature seemingly infinite skies. The titles of his paintings are purposefully elusive, leaving readers to search for hidden meanings or consider how his subject might fit into a wider narrative.
Draw inspiration from literature
‘A lot of what Trinidad is about is the feeling of the place, the atmosphere of the place, particularly at night, and the mystery of the forest.’ In 2005, Chris Ofili left London to live and work in Trinidad – a move which had an influential impact on his practice. ‘Paradise by Night’ is a portfolio of ten lithographs that draws upon the island’s landscape and mythology, as well as sensual and Biblical themes. The series, including ‘When’, is a direct response to ten poems written by young, UK-based poets, having initially been conceived as a thank you to one poet who wrote a verse inspired by the artist’s work. Ten colors are used for each print. Ofili is one of the most acclaimed British painters of his generation and is renowned for vibrant, intricately layered compositions.
Indulge in childhood nostalgia – and revel in simple pleasures
Wayne Thiebaud grew up during the Great Depression – an era in which cakes, desserts and candies were viewed by many as luxuries. ‘Desserts’ is one of several works by the artist to focus on edible treats, often depicted in abundant displays that appear to extend beyond the image. Inspired by childhood birthday parties and family picnics, Thiebaud has also cited the influence of early jobs in restaurants where confections are arranged on countertops like characters on a stage. His unique style reflects a brief career as a cartoonist (for the U.S. Army and later The Walt Disney Company), while his deliberate compositions place him in the still-life tradition of art historical greats from Chardin to Morandi. This work is a joyous reminder to take pleasure in everyday aspects of the world around us as well as an invitation to welcome feelings of nostalgia.
Be transported through story-telling
Formed in New Delhi in 1992, Raqs Media Collective have a diverse and eclectic practice, creating works that explore philosophy, language and meaning. In ‘The Philosophy of Namak Haraam, Revised’, the artist trio presents shelves laden with books – each of which has empty pages. The viewer is invited to consider the titles they would like to browse if, during a tiring day, they encountered the tomes. The work is a reminder of the potential for narratives to transport us and spark new ways of thinking.
Transform your home into a creative space
Spending more time at home provides an opportunity to engage in new projects, transforming living areas into creative spaces. For many artists, this scenario is familiar: living and studio space intertwine, resulting in scenes similar to the one depicted in Thomas Demand’s ‘Atelier’. The photograph captures the artist's careful reconstruction of a portion of Henri Matisse’s studio at the Hotel Régina in Nice, France, where the painter lived and worked from the autumn of 1938. It was here Matisse created his celebrated papiers découpés, or cut-outs, transforming paint and paper into vibrant plants, animals, figures and shapes. Demand meticulously worked from a photograph of the original scene – a technique he explores throughout his work, which considers the "flood of images we are subjected to" and "how we make sense of it."2
Discover fresh meaning in the world around you
Michael Craig-Martin once said: "I have always thought everything important is right in front of you."3 The statement is reflected in his practice, which asks viewers to re-examine everyday objects – exploring the potential for the seemingly ordinary to become significant. ‘Objects of our Time’ is a series of twelve screen prints that depict items ranging from a credit card to a high-heeled shoe. The artist invites us to consider how an object can be represented in a two-dimensional image. In these works, the objects on single-color backgrounds resemble pictograms and seem to take on universal, symbolic meaning.
See the human body in a new light
For Antony Gormley, "art is the means by which we communicate what it feels like to be alive."4 The artist creates works that reflect on the human body – treating it not as an object, but as a place of being in which thoughts, behaviors and feelings are born. In ‘HISTORY’, he explores the positions the body holds in relation to space, questioning the effect of distance and our relation to the ground, sky, horizon and architecture around us. It is a work that feels pertinent at a time when many find themselves far away from familiar faces or adapting to life in a single location. Gormley’s practice is influenced by an interest in anthropology as well as universal actions and experiences: are simple behaviors, like sleeping and eating, influenced by culture? Or do cultural traditions stem from universal belief systems?