I have been a member of Matt Roberts Arts Consultancy for a few years. He is very encouraging about setting up artist-run exhibitions. I met the artist Madi Acharya-Baskerville at a Matt Roberts London gallery tour in 2019, and subsequently looked at her website and the nature of her work. I felt that a joint exhibition would be worth pursuing on the basis of how our work would interact given our similarities and differences. Madi & I started to communicate via email, giving each other a crit about our work, and then we started to discuss making the joint exhibition a reality. In early 2020, we came up with the idea of a touring show in 3 locations; possibly Oxford, London and Hastings, and the idea to seek some funding, perhaps from Arts Council England, to develop our idea.
Then in March, out of the blue, the UK was plunged into Covid-19 lockdown. ‘Unprecedented’ became the over-used bon mot of this time. Almost overnight, the landscape of arts funding changed, and Arts Council England along with a-n and Artquest and others, swiftly diverted funding streams into emergency Covid-19 funding, and exhibitions diverted to the online almost overnight. Suddenly, the plans that Madi and I were putting together for our proposed exhibitions hit a brick wall.