42days 42boats 42installations: Beatrice Magalotti | 15 June – 2 July | G2

Exhibition Statement

This project is my response to the COVID19 Stage 4 lockdown in Melbourne, originally announced for 42 days in August 2020. Melbournians were limited to travel within a 5km radius and only allowed to leave home for four reasons: one hour of exercise; shopping for essential items; authorised study or work; and care or caregiving. An 8 pm to 5 am curfew was also imposed.
This self-directed project focused my time and energy and helped me to remain productive during the lockdown. I created 42 ceramic boats – one for each day of the lockdown.
After stage four restrictions were relaxed I was also able to photograph the boats outside the 5km radius from my home. I photographed them in different environments and shared them across the globe digitally on Instagram. 
I couldn’t leave Australia, but my boats could. The movement was restricted but not imagination.
I contacted a number of artists and asked if they would be interested in collaborating with me; photographing the boats in new locations. With their help these little ceramic boats made it out of Victoria and travelled across the world, connecting us in solidarity against a pandemic at its height. They were photographed in new environments in Western Australia and across Europe and America.
It is important to me that art is enjoyable, and so I gave very few instructions, encouraging my collaborators to play with the project.  This took courage and trust, but their subtly differing perspectives on the theme ultimately produced more diverse work.
Not all of the nine women I collaborated with for the interstate and international element of this project identified as visual artists.  Among them were an architect, a curator and an engineer.  Together we made art as these women brought their own experiences and creativity to the work. 
By using social media to exhibit these images, I’ve been able to reach audiences that might not have attended a physical exhibition.  These audiences have been able to engage with the project over several months, following the boats as they left Melbourne, Victoria, and finally Australia. Many of the locations used in the installations are recognisable environments, providing a sense of familiarity, connection and inclusion in the work.   
Like the crude and fragile stitches on the sides of each boat, the pandemic has forced many of us to patch, mend, and forge new paths.  For artists like myself, that meant rethinking our practice, being innovative in our methods and finding new ways to engage with our audiences. By doing part of this project as a durational and digital work, I was able to continue exploring travel and migration through a global pandemic. I have compiled a number of the images into the book and intend to physically exhibit the ceramic boats, book and photographs together.

Beatrice Magalotti 2022

Showing 1–12 of 14 results