By Johannes Mueller-Welschof
How does an artist respond to lockdown? By getting creative of course. Johannes Mueller-Welschof, Advanced Diploma of Art and Creativity (Level 7) graduate and Community Liaison at The Learning Connexion, set about on a project turning the everyday into the beautiful. Here, in his own words, he shares the process - and results.
Going from a rather hectic work schedule on a school campus to Level 4 lockdown and working online from home was quite a shock and took a bit of time to settle into. Added to that, a long-booked trip to Europe had fallen prey to the virus and my bubble and I spent instead a couple of weeks of annual leave very much at home.
The idea to occupy myself in these strange circumstances with some kind of project emerged quickly and, with the experience of participating in a bunch of 100 Days-projects during the last few years, a 30 Days (plus) version looked pretty achievable. Using photography offered an easy option without needing too many materials and tools, given that most of my art materials were stored away in my now unaccessible studio.
As a concept for the photos – given the limitations that lock-down Level 4 presented - I decided to focus on household items right around me as part of my everyday life – many often used, but overlooked in terms of their aesthetic properties.
Concentrating on that as a daily task allowed me to take my mind a bit off the constant flow of unsettling news and the feeling of uncertainty of things to come.
My approach for the one photo a day was rather impulsive. Each morning I just grabbed items from cupboards, drawers and shelfs, chose a background, arranged stuff and snapped away.
The only rule I set, was to limit the time spent on it to maximum 30 minutes including basic editing and upload.
I decided to share the daily photo I created each morning on my own Facebook page and one of the TLC Facebook pages to see how fellow creatives would react to my ideas and to encourage them to come in with their own. The response was overwhelmingly positive and other projects popped up to be followed.
Having a shared exhibition scheduled in, quite early on my plan was to connect the results of my efforts at the end of the project as a collage, that could be realised as a photo print. Cropping the photos to a square format suggested to go for a number of days, that would allow for a square collage as well – 25/36/49 days. In the end 36 proved to be near enough to the actual end of Level 4.
When I started, I had in mind to leave the photos for that collage in the exact daily follow-up I posted them in. Looking at the whole lot I actually decided to give it a good stir-up for a mix that I find more satisfying. Here is the final result.