In March 2020, when COVID-19 was declared a worldwide pandemic and the possibility of a lockdown in South Africa loomed, the Bag Factory Artists’ Studios had three international artists in residence. Georgina Maxim, Andreas Andersson and Erla Haraldsdóttir had to anxiously return to their home countries before the borders closed, and have continued their residencies remotely. The Open Studios event – a showcase of what they have been working on while at the Bag Factory – that should have taken place at the end of their residency will now take place virtually on 25 April 2020.
Similarly, while the Bag Factory is closed during the national lockdown, the studio artists are researching and producing work from the confines of their homes.
This virtual open studio event will include videos, virtual studio visits, and an online panel discussion with the residency artists, offering visitors a unique opportunity to see, hear about and discuss the research and work-in-progress that the artists’ have been developing during these strange and uncertain times. At 16:00, there will be a panel discussion with the three international artists in residence.
Creative Feel spoke to Director of the Bag Factory Artists’ Studios, Candice Allison, and artist Georgina Maxim about the impact of COVID-19 and the upcoming Virtual Open Studios.
Creative Feel: Could you tell us about the Bag Factory Artists’ Studios residency programmes and the recent artists that were in residence?
Candice Allison: The Bag Factory’s residency programme hosts up to eight international artists and curators each year, for 2-3 months. We started 2020 with three artists in residence: Georgina Maxim, from Zimbabwe, as part of Art Connection Africa, a collaboration between KfW Stiftung and Triangle Network, which we are affiliated with. Andreas Andersson joined us from Sweden as part of a long-standing partnership with Iaspis, the Swedish Arts Grants Committee (Konstnärsnämnden) International Program. Erla Haraldsdóttir, an Icelandic artist currently based in Berlin, returned to the Bag Factory as part of our self-funded residency programme, after she spent three months with us last year.
Continue reading for the rest of the interview.