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Social media is the silver lining for lockdown artist Gina

Date 2.07.2020

A fine artist from the University of Northampton has upped her social media game to get around the restrictions on exhibiting physical work.

Gina Hammersley had been relishing the thought of showing off the fruits of her three years studying for a Fine Art Painting & Drawing degree, with the traditional end-of-year show.

However, the University’s Degree Show was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, forcing Gina and her coursemates to focus entirely on displaying their work online.

“I’ve had to find other ways to display my work,” said Gina, who attended Great Billing Primary School, Northampton Academy and Northampton College prior to University.

“I have found it challenging, but also refreshing, during the lock down as social media has become more relevant as an artist’s platform.

“I have become increasingly active on my social media platforms to promote my practice and connect with an audience who are interested in my work, I have also kept my website updated with paintings which would have been displayed in degree show and new work I have produced since.”

Gina and some of her fellow graduates are now planning to hold their Degree Show on Instagram, complete with a live-stream question and answer session with online viewers.

But she’s embracing online exhibitions, Gina still feels there’s no substitute for viewing artwork in the flesh.

She said: “Although social media has been great way to showcase my practice during lockdown, I do believe paintings need to be seen in person as they are always perceived differently in a photograph. For example, I work on a large scale but when viewed online these works seem underwhelming and don’t seem get the right emotional response in comparison to the feeling when you are stood in front of them and you are immersed in the scene.”

Here’s some examples of Gina’s work, below.

This Little Piggy Went To Market, by Gina Hammersley.

This Little Piggy Went To Market, by Gina Hammersley.

This Little Piggy Stayed At Home, by Gina Hammersley.

This Little Piggy Stayed At Home, by Gina Hammersley.

This Little Piggy Ate Roast Beef, by Gina Hammersley.

This Little Piggy Ate Roast Beef, by Gina Hammersley.

The Shambles, by Gina Hammersley.

The Shambles, by Gina Hammersley.

She explains the rationale behind her work:

My work challenges the use of photographs and the digital within painting, I use symbols of innocence along with the sinister side of fun within childhood. Working from old photographs appropriated through Photoshop, I produce large-scale figurative paintings facing themes of childhood, memory, twisted utopia and fantasy. What may seem fun and innocent for children often has a dark side, in my work there is a sense that something isn’t quite right. The image of pig with children in many of my paintings reflects on the symbol of the pig throughout history, often associated with witches, having traits of both filthiness and greed, in many religions sacred and also questioning its relevant use in modern day entertainment.

Follow Gina on Instagram.

Visit Gina’s website.