Alias Trate, a Canadian, London-based conceptual artist, has used the ample time during the lockdown to meditate on the moodier aspects of this shapeless, worrisome year.
In a recent pop-up exhibition at 15 Bateman Street, Zeus’ Bastards, Trate showed a series of 16 oil portraits realised in the lockdown, exploring how this period of separation from life as we know it has forced us into a darker introspection. He says, “There has been a steady removal of many superfluous elements in our lives. Like never before, we have had to come to terms with ourselves and have discovered in the lockdown a clarity of vision. We are complex emotional beings, conditioned by light and dark.” Painting has become something of a coping mechanism for Trate, who believes that his painting has helped him to understand the underlying forces that drive his emotions. He says: “Painting is a way to render intelligible and cope with existence.”
It seems that despite the stresses of the year and the pandemic, artists across the board continue to be prolific. A good thing too, as we engage with art at a new level from the socially distanced comfort of isolation.