Birmingham artist creates lockdown work

Anna Chudnovsky tells how she found inspiration through adversity.

I am an artist based in Harborne. I have been developing an innovative art approach which has involved creating pieces of art which are attached to the geographical locations where they were made. The COVID pandemic, the lockdown which followed and the changes in society which we have seen this year affected not only my creative plans but also my personal life.

My partner is in Corfu, so all of my plans were put on hold. Instead of crying over spilt milk, I gathered my courage and decided to explore what I saw the pandemic doing to the world. My special attention was towards how I saw the new world shaping. I spent time analysing information which I could use to paint my reaction to this defining moment.

The result was Fotina, an eight metres long, three metres high piece of art. The canvas tells the pandemic story in its left part and the human reaction story at its right. In the centre, I made a space for the forecast and, most especially, to reflect the personal choices of those people who are taking steps towards consciously creating their own future.

Although the situation the world is in is shocking, I am sure that the people who are capable of recognising future efforts and who keep hold of their courage and handle stress at this difficult time who will make those steps real. Through my work, especially with Fotina’s enormous size, I want to highlight what possibilities I believe could be done. In this case, I was only able to paint in a tight space in home, meaning only 20% of the painting could be available to work on at any one time. When I finally dragged the roll of canvas outside of my building, that was the first time I saw the painting as a whole. It might have never come into my mind before the lockdown, but I could say now it is a substantial positive experience which I would like to share.

The story of Fotina belongs to the city of Birmingham, as my painting features the geographical coordinate of the city. It also shows a positive approach to the painful situation the world is in. It is proof that even in the current challenging case, with limited possibilities, it is still possible to make something more prominent than ever in the best conditions.

Everything belongs to the people’s choices to stay stable and to make steps in an unknown and uncertain area. I would like to inspire and encourage people who might feel lost now. My story is how to turn feelings of being lost into positive future steps.