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Quarantine Thoughts from Our Favourite Art Girls
Words of wisdom we need so desperately these days
Around the Globe 04 Apr 2020

The world is in self-isolation mode right now. One minute we are tearing our hair out about the lack of social interaction, while the next we’re secretly loving having a little alone time to concentrate on our own projects and side-hustles. But what does this mean for the art world? And how are art girls dealing with the current situation? Well my friends, we asked them!

Kristin Hjellegjerde, Director, Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery @kristinhjellegjerde


Photographer: Erica Bergsmeds, Make up: Ninni Marklund using Delilah

“This morning was all about getting the boys situated on two computers for homeschool in their room, my husband in the guest room for his conference calls and me finally now sitting down to check my emails”, says Kristin Hjellegjerde, “Luckily we managed to set up all three gallery shows before lockdown, Rebecca Brodskis in Berlin, Group Show in Wandsworth and Sinta Tantra at our London Bridge location with a digital opening. All my artists keep working in their studios, who knows they might create the best work of their time:) I am still managing to stay a bit optimistic (even though the fall was a bit of a knockout) and some of our loyal collectors have already shown support to us last week, we have also sold work to new collectors in Pakistan and Dubai.”

Ferren Gipson, Host Art Matters Podcast @ferrengipson


“I think my reaction to everything is evolving every week. They seem to be in line with the stages of grief, which means I’m probably due to hit the depression stage soon. Hopefully I breeze past that into acceptance!”

Daria Borisova, Curator and Art Advisor @punh 


 “As the world’s economy plummets, opportunities in the art world will rise from the crisis. The decisions we make in art acquisition for the next 2 years will be our bright future in 10-15 years. This is the time to keep watch on opportunities in the art market.”

Rebecca Anne Proctor, Art Journalist @rebeccaanneproctor


“While everything–malls, airports, stores, gyms, restaurants and bars–is closed in Dubai, we are having a more discreet form of lockdown than in other countries. I think the UAE government is taking control of the situation in the most responsible way and for this I feel safe. Everyone has been told to work from home and yesterday police cars drove along the streets with loudspeakers urging all pedestrians to go to their homes. As a journalist, I am used to working from home and often find great solace when I am by myself, undisturbed, while I write. What is more challenging for me is to watch what is taking place in the rest of the world, particularly in the US and Italy where I have family members. We are living in an extremely strange time and I often feel like a character out of a sci-fi movie fighting an unknown evil creature. Indeed, the world is changing and while I believe things will get more challenging before they get better, I also believe that change was needed, however painful this change will be. Already, we are seeing incredible benefits of lockdowns around the world to the environment–a crisis discussed greatly by artists as of late just as it has by international organizations and governments. What will be the new normal? I do hope that these strange times will help us to view our role on this planet in a different, more humane light and that the challenges we are experiencing will bring us closer together rather than apart. The power to fight Coronavirus depends as much on our will and belief system as it does on our governments and our communities. There’s a lot of fear and anxiety in the air and I do not believe this helps the status quo. And this is where art comes in. Viewing art online is not ideal; it will never replace the physical experience for me, but luckily, thanks to technology we are able to view performances, museums, galleries and even art fairs and biennials online and this opportunity can only allow us to transcend the insanity of our present predicament.”

Flora Alexandra Ogilvy, Founder, Arteviste @florarteviste


“An uplifting way to educate and inspire yourself is to engage with a virtual museum tour created by Google Arts & Culture. From home, you can explore MoMa The Museum or Modern Art, Tate Britain and more. For those seeking a bespoke experience, I will also be offering virtual lectures and tutorials.”

Hazel Mead, Artist @hazel.mead

Photograph Vickie Licková

Photograph Vickie Licková

“It’s still the first week and already it’s been a rollercoaster of emotions. I’ve been feeling anxious about family, the instability of the situation, freelancing at this time, the entire world, catching the virus, money, navigating this new world as an extrovert, independent businesses around me, my mental health. Lots of worry, big and small. However I’ve been feeling really positive the last few days. I am enjoying this feeling of togetherness, this new community spirit that I’m seeing. I am taking advantage of yoga and salsa classes online to keep up my exercise and social life. The live element helps me to get some feeling of human interaction. I think when things go back to normal we will all be so much more grateful for what we have been used to – everything at our fingertips, shelves being fully stocked with more than we could dream of, transport, everything! It’s sunny at the moment and I think that helps because everything is a little brighter. “

Camilla FarmanFarmaian, Co-Founder Nouvelle Vague Marbella @arainbowgirl


“Being based in Spain, this pandemic has hit us very hard. However, I believe the only way to get through this is to stay positive and creative, listen to good music, read good books, keep creating. Connect & unite. Hopefully we will all come out of this a bit more humble and with a new approach to our planet. Maybe this is the lesson to learn… I’d like to finish with a quote by Henri Miller that keeps me going these days: ‘To make living itself an art, that is the goal’”

Anahita Sadighi, Founder, Anahita: Arts of Asia and Anahita Contemporary @berlinartlover


Image courtesy Anahita. Photography by Alessia Cocca, Fashion & Styling by Henriette von Grünberg

The current situation and quarantine feels very surreal. Uncertainty about the long-term effects of this crisis on our industry is a burden. I try to stay positive and work on ideas and projects that I can push during the crisis. Colourful and relaxed home office clothing combined with a healthy and stimulating home office culture definitely helps to lift the spirits! 

Selena Cerami, Founder Eve Leibe Gallery @_selena_cerami


“It’s a difficult time for all of us and it is hard to figure out what is actually happening. Don’t take all that you hear as truth, please select the news and take some time off-line. Take this time to explore your inner self and try to make the most out of it. I will quote Jake Woodward as ‘We have become burned out with all of our excess masculine energy of constantly working,analysing and overthinking. This is why our bodies have become tense and rigid. Most people don’t take the time to rest and reflect. There is a large disconnection with the divine feminine energy which is playfulness, love and compassion. We are being called to all reconnect with our inner female. To stop abandoning her divine love.'”

Aimee Dawson,  Associate Digital Editor The Art Newspaper @amldawson


“I’ve always thought/feared that I was in fact a secret hermit trapped in an outgoing person’s body/job and that, subsequently, quarantine life would actually quite suit me. I lasted three days before my first full breakdown (I shouted at my boyfriend for touching the post: IT’S PROBABLY CONTAMINATED!) There have been more since and, undoubtedly, there will be more in the future. This is the longest I’ve spent at home in the UK in one stint since I started working as a journalist five years ago. While not travelling for press trips and keeping in the international art loop brings a lot of anxiety I am trying to think about the silver linings: I am relishing not living out of a suitcase; I am delighting in normal working hours; and I am enjoying being more connected to friends and family. Working from home brings other small pleasures: I have a ten-second commute and am saving a small fortune in Tube fares; I’m getting maximum wear out of all those cosy jumpers that I for some reason stockpiled back in February even though spring was almost here; and—in an oddly fortuitous way—there has never been a better time to be a digital editor. My top tip? When you’re feeling blue, put on the High School Musical soundtrack: ‘We’re all in this togetherrrrr’.”

Text Lizzy Vartanian

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