ARTIST: OLIVIA STRETTON
COUNTRY: SOUTH AFRICA
MATERIALS USED: OIL PASTEL on CARD

South Africa has had a traumatic history, and through that struggle, we have grown and bonded as a country. We are proud to be South African because it means we fought together, for freedom and equality. We are not perfect but we stand together. But at this time we must stand apart to keep our country together. We are not ready to lose the country we fought so hard for hence our drastic move to protect ourselves from COVID-19. My artwork depicts people who stand together but see each other naked, in different colours. The alternative colours represent the new lenses we view the world through. Isolation has created fear and paranoia that strips and alienates us from each other.

I chose to use oil pastel as I wanted the bright colours to have complete tonal value and carry a full gradient. I cut and layered the images in a collage fashion to add an extra sense of separation. Their expressions vary from sombre, angry, blank and depressed in order to show lack of compassion and emotional distance.