A range of voices from across the Philippines Arts sector have come together and chosen works by UK artists from the British Council Collection to reflect on the unprecedented global crisis.
Their comments and the artworks can be found in the online campaign: ‘Platform: Art world voices that connect us now’.
Contributors include Dr Ana Labrador, the Deputy Director General for Museums, National Museum of the Philippines and the Chief Curator and Head of Collections Management, National Collections, who selected Lucien Freud’s Girl With Roses, 1947-48 – and included in her comments:
… I found out that the subject is his [Freud’s] wife who at the time was newly pregnant. As an early work of Freud, it is interesting that the portrait's focus is more on the eyes rather than skin, as in his later portraits.
The unease expressed in the painting is shown by her wiry hair, her grip on one rose while allowing the other to lie on her lap, the textures of her clothes, and the cane weave of her chair. Her mien of uncertainty about her future is parallel to the effect of coronavirus to our lives.
And Felimon Blanco, Head of the National Committee on Dramatic Arts, who wrote of Brendan Neiland’s Cityscape, 1981:
We are currently living in a squared cell that limits human mobility.
Just like in this artwork, the steel speaks of the coldness of living behind bars, where far beyond you see the hope of blue clouds. On the other hand, I see comfort and protection being ‘behind the bars’ in the artwork – where no one can harm me in my safe quarantine space at home.
If you would like to request loans of any of the works in the British Council Collection please see this page here.
You can also read more about the British Council Collection through our Calm Me Down Collection series: