Social Distance | Quarantine Collage Extended Edition #46 Portrait of a Woman (Invisible Virus) | Tier 3 | Britain 2020
About the work
This is one of two works by Lisa Fielding-Smith from her series of Quarantine Collages in the Collection, produced in lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020. Using images of women from popular lifestyle magazines, the artist renders the selected model as a faceless mannequin, taking away their identity by replacing the entire skin area of the image with domestic interior surfaces like laminate flooring, types of packaging, foods, or in this case, elements of the outdoors.
As described by commentator G. Brooks:
These surfaces infiltrate the body (like a virus), replacing and destabilising the model’s identity, persona and vitality. As we are all now so much more aware and fearful of the once benign but protective environmental surfaces now potentially threatening our actual survival. These collages represent the mass shift in world perception of personal and environmental contact with dangerous yet invisible alternate life forms.
Simultaneously, the former fashion model takes on a new role: she becomes the protagonist of the artwork, the lead role in a film noir or a kind of doll with which the artist ‘dresses up’ and seems to ‘arrange’ in a playful and somewhat slightly disconcerting way. The mannequin or doll is used as a ‘readily available’ vehicle for the artist to mobilise her emotions and personal experience of the 12-week quarantine and lockdown period.
About the artist
Lisa Fielding-Smith graduated with an MA Fine Art from Goldsmiths in 2001, having previously studied fashion in York and a first degree at Sheffield Hallam University (1994). She is a mixed media artist, working predominantly in film and video, as well as drawing, sculpture and collage. Her work is informed by a body of ongoing research covering such areas as feminist theory, hysteria, witchcraft, fairy tales, gender performativity and performance. Alongside her practice, she has delivered art workshops in prisons to support rehabilitation since 2003.
- Social Distance | Quarantine Collage Extended Edition #46 Portrait of a Woman (Invisible Virus) | Tier 3 | Britain 2020
- handmade collage on paper
- height: 62.5 cm; width: 45.0 cm; depth: 3.4 cm
- Purchased from the artist March 2021, through the Art XUK project 2020-21
- The artist; from whom purchased by UK Government Art Collection, 17 March 2021
- GAC number