Resilience and the associated terms: flexibility, adaptability, durability, ad-hocism and toughness have become central to the lexicon of contemporary art. These terms are often used in the framework of studio practice through tutorial and crit, usually conspicuous in any discussion of the soft skills a contemporary art graduate can take into the labour market.
To be a contemporary artist, we must be flexible to radical shifts in conditions, that we have to find ways to persevere within restrictions, and currently, to thrive within the parameters of a lockdown. Some of us have found a freedom in the confinement, enjoying the pleasures of our own domestic settings, freeing up time for the development of our art practices. Some of us have managed to make the work we want to in the confinement of spaces that aren’t accommodating, nourishing or safe.
We have adapted our practices across the media and materials we use, moving through ideas and concepts we develop, and navigating the space of the virtual and the ‘in real life’, drawing on the provisional to create sophisticated and engaging works of art. The works by contemporary artists in this graduate showcase are remarkable, as all are examples of this resilience.