Artists working through lockdown and the pandemic

ELEVATION
Elevation 4' x 4 oil on canvas £6000

Seven short visits with a painting called ELEVATION

This project involves two artists working through lockdown and the pandemic. The author and writer Elizabeth Lymer teamed up with contemporary artist Osian Gwent AGSA. Elizabeth produced seven unique and eloquent responses to my painting called ELEVATION, as seen through her eyes.

Elizabeth visited the gallery everyday for a week. Standing outside in the freezing cold for about an hour each day. Looking through the window and writing down her response.


artists working through lockdown and the pandemic
ELEVATION oil on canvas £6000

Especially poignant while the pandemic continues, Osian Gwent is utilising his acute awareness of isolation, lived experiences, and raw emotions to create artworks that invite and provoke us into joyful states with the resources we have within ourselves. His paintings provide attractive safe spaces to fulfil some of our timeless needs for support doing this”.

Elizabeth Lymer Writer & Author

Seven visits to a painting called Elevation

When we notice something, often we start to see it everywhere, don’t you find?

.

Having newly registered some information, we make a sort of pathway for similar things to consciously enter our senses.

.

When I’m waiting in an unfamiliar place, I like to play with seeing so that I focus on one colour at a time to spot details. After focussing on one object for its colour, everything else in my vision blurs and then matching coloured things easily pop out for attention. I’m always amazed. When I first played it, I quite zealously reported to a friend that there’s a lot more orange in the world than I’d realised.

.

Yet sometimes, I’m simply startled or moved unusually by a glimpse of a shape or a convergence out of my ordinary daily vocabulary. And subsequently I’m able to access what I’d been missing in various contexts. I might make this a theme for some writing. Or I might return to the connection when chatting with friends and explore it through dialogues.

.

In this case, with the mouths I saw in Osian’s painting, I explored the experience raw and in writing.

.

Do you play these games with your senses to strengthen them or to bring more information into your consciousness?

.

What games do you like playing with paintings?

.

I now hear that, mid project, I became sensitive to the window in terms of it being between me and the painting, and I questioned my position in terms of being able to see.

.

And I’m amused that this fits a midpoint moment in a novel or screenplay so neatly.

.

Recognition that I’m not who I was, and of who I intend to be.

.

In this case, recognition that I was not in my old comfort zone any longer and sought new comfort from my focus/aspiration to bear the journey, between me and it, to reach it.

.

And recognition that I intended to accept light when it’s offered to help me see through darkness.

.

Then, beyond the midpoint, experiencing the expansive real changes that this acceptance reaches into, and experiencing knowledge of my new best comfort. With patience. And with even more light resulting.

.

I love fiction structures that are based on real lived experiences, and that help me to see myself and choose my life stories, don’t you?

“I am patient for…insights to offer themselves in 3D.”

.

In this video, I speak of my intention and I’m not disappointed as two artists working through lockdown and the pandemic. Another uplifting visit to the painting ‘ELEVATION’ on Day 5 of 7.

.

One of the strengths I love about my dyslexia is three dimensional conceptualising. 🙂 With this, expecting to access knowledge three dimensionally.

.

We all have strengths.

.

And if we have a degree of visual ability, we can help ourselves to accept more knowledge, more information, by entering the Learning State.

.

The process.

.

Face ahead. Pick a spot around eye level to look at.

.

Stare, allowing your thoughts to come and go.

.

Notice, while you keep your stare focussed on that spot, your vision spreads out. Allow it. You see more in your peripheral vision than elsewhere.

.

Pay attention to that peripheral vision. All without moving your eyes. Notice what you can see.

.

Notice how you feel.

.

(Perhaps then enjoy, explore, and play.)

.

The Learning State is an excellent state to access before an activity in which you intend to gain knowledge, like studying, reading, or being fully present with someone and listening to them.

.

And, in my experience, as two artists working through lockdown and the pandemic, it’s a beautiful one to do with Osian Gwent’s painting ‘ELEVATION’.


Responding to art



ELEVATION by Elizabeth Lymer

1

Finding God 

just above where I started seeking yet wandering. 

Finding lighter and lighter shades 

through my murkiness returning to finding Him. 

Elevation. 

Release into beyond my perception at full strength.

Ability to return 

to what may have been murky 

and see brightness, lightness, distinction,

and with knowing where to find God 

with a small tilt up from where I remember to look, 

or when. 

Emotions wondered, 

trust was underlying. 

And uplifting direction 

was a good place 

to leave until next time.

2

Swish, 

the upward wave sky greets me, 

meeting me amidst the noise of traffic through puddles. 

So many reflections today off the window glass,

I come closer, closer, 

I am drawn to the loudest colours at the picture’s base. 

I see animals of land and water, 

I see the atmosphere of some time forgotten, indoors and quiet.

I discover I am searching 

for the stillness between movements in all good dynamism 

and I arrive 

through some gentle swishing 

at the yellow golden meandering path 

which I choose, around and up. 

My eyes follow, 

I’m smiling back at the curl in the sky towards heaven, 

greeting God.

3

A mouth, another, another. 

Sliced head and a false smile. 

A greasy one. 

One that cuts as it moves. 

And near each three, 

different choices: 

a softer, quieter way; 

a speaking from wholeness 

with brightness beaming; 

listening. 

Three preferences. 

Amidst consequences down here, 

I pick them out while I take time to. 

I question purpose. 

There are three horizons, or is it five? 

Urgent though I feel to move up, I take time. 

And discover I didn’t need to choose one but transcend all. 

Into softness with cutting memories to remind me onwards.

4

Pixelations 

of water on the window 

between me and the picture, 

I question whether I can see. 

I spend time among the dark shapes, 

one of the pairs of yesterday’s smiles 

has syncronised and offers a light beam. 

I accept and lifted, I look all the way up 

to finger like flames, bright ends, and dark, 

the greys are there too at the ends of feelings, 

near the pinks, yes it is in the pinks that I desire, 

for comfort. 

I drop my gaze slowly 

and allow the entire painting to light up aglow. 

Because,

some moments,

comfort is the best place.

5

Playing with the learning state, 

I stare at one point:

central pink 

between grey below 

and white above. 

I am patient 

for things to change, 

wholeness to emerge, 

insights to offer themselves

in 3-D.

The clouds look real now,

fluffy, wooly, undulating 

in keeping with where

land paths direct,

where divergence 

leads to choice.

The clouds come down,

cover the paths, 

lacing their undulations

with bouncy cushioning,

soft and consistent.

And the

clouds

can 

come 

down

anytime.

I disengage,

and the painting

keeps both our journey 

and its invitation silent.

I am slow to depart.

It did not ask me to itself.

My yes is to the angels

and to God.

6

Enjoying surprise,

humoured

that before

I didn’t see it.

Before, I stood close,

too close.

Today I stand

the other side

of a quiet road.

Today I can see 

for miles,

I can wander,

I can meander, 

climb, trek,

return near 

in flow.

Awe.

Marvel.

Under a vast sky

that cools my eyes,

warms my lungs,

soothes 

my traveller’s heart.

Today I know

I would prefer a

large or long space

to view this painting 

from many nearnesses.

Today I became excited

for the people who will see

it for longer than I will.

7

A lock opens

between sky and below

merging blue and green

that slides down a weir.

I lose seeing it

so return to the explosion 

where the bright began

a point of entry

to this world.

Today’s key.

The colours dance again

more muted than I remembered,

as moving as I’d hoped,

as I’ve been here before,

and I know.

Different every time,

always possible,

and beautiful,

to enter an intelligence

in interacting.

Different forms jump,

unseen shapes come out

from hiding.

I feel my own body 

is a canal

and, as I look forward

to where I’ll return to,

I am grateful that here

I regained lost direction.

My last day on this project,

interrupted by a passerby

who wanted to know

about having the artwork,

already my little time of ‘ownership’ has ended

and I am joyful for 

those who’ll own it longer.

Elizabeth Lymer


It has been a blessing to me to have been selected by the author Elizabeth Lymer who chose to respond to my painting called ELEVATION. I think you will agree that she has a unique and eloquent gift of expressing emotions into words. It’s been a revelation to me as two artists working through lockdown and the pandemic. Not your typical critique but a guided experience through the eyes of another. As I sum up, those immortal words of Vinnie Jones come to mind… “It’s been emotional”.

.

Thanks for 👀 watching!

By artbyosian

expressive • contemporary • modern artist