Social Art in the Time of Social Distancing:

Live Out Loud

A collection of conversations with artists and creative practioners about specific topics. Published every week on our website and SoundCloud. 


What's our second podcast about? 

This week we’re talking about ‘Social Art in a Time of Social Distancing’ – how artists with a social practice are responding to the current imperative to ‘stay home’ and ‘save lives’ – in marked contrast to the highly embedded and embodied ways they might ordinarily work with other people and communities.

Our host Lucy Wright, a social practitioner herself, will be joined by three artists also working socially; Rupi Dhillon, Sophie Bownes and Natasha Alexander.

There are no rights and wrongs of how artists opt to continue their practice – or perhaps to take a break – at this unprecedented time, and this podcast showcases three different, but equally valid perspectives and approaches, from Rupi’s efforts to transfer her participatory work from a ‘lived’ to ‘virtual’ space, through Sophie’s reflections on the importance of resisting the pressure to be ‘hyperproductive’ during a global pandemic, and finally to the social art underpinnings of The Social Distance Art Project, a student-led initiative to offer an alternative to the traditional art school degree show, unavailable to this year’s cohort of art students.

Axisweb · Live Out Loud: Rupi Dhillon, Sophie Bownes and Natasha Alexander

Meet the artists involved: 

Rupi Dhillon

Rupi Dhillon is a British Indian, multidisciplinary artist.

Dhillon explores the mental association or dissociation between (wo)man and their environment, how this is shaped, what it may signify and how multiplicity in culture is conducive to the concept of belonging and space. She is interested in understanding themes of trauma as a result of hybrid identity, through a Queer phenomenological lens and ways in which art based practices can work to heal this.

Rupi Dhillon

Pittu Garam, Digbeth 1st Friday, Stryx Gallery - Birmingham Participatory Perfromance.

 Her current work reimagines cultural experience through gestalt expression, participatory performance, the systems of art institutions, shared practices, the concept of gifting and attachments in found objects.

Dhillon is also interested in establishing further research into Cultural Dysphoria as a Philosophy.

See Rupi's Axisweb profile >

Sophie Bownes

Sophie Bownes is an artist-curator based in London. Sophie’s practice utilises various forms; seeking methodologies of collaboration and social exchange, never occupying one authoritative voice but a multiplicity of voices.

Sophie Bownes

Photo credit: artist x team commission series, workshop led by artist Jessie McLaughlin, 2019

She is one third of the research and curatorial group Against the Run of Play, who host the Femxle Football Reading Group and have commissioned artists to work with local-league girls’ football teams, written texts and organised participatory events — exploring critical perspectives on sports and gender. 

See Sophie's website >

Natasha Alexander 

Natasha Alexander is an artist with interests in installation, performance and conceptual art, and co-founder of 'The Social Distance Art Project', a student-led intitiative to offer an alternative traditional art school degree show.

The Social Distance Art Project

The Social Works Art Project icon 

'COVID-19 has seen an end to our studio-based study and the looming fear of the cancellation of our Degree Show is nothing short of heart breaking for creative students like us. We are a small group of final year students from Leeds Arts University, Newcastle University and York St John University hoping to give others who have found themselves in the same situation a platform to share the products of the years of study we have done in preparation for our Degree Show.'

How to enter art work to TSDAP: 

To submit email [email protected] and attach;

  • a number of photographs (.jpeg format) - ideally square and a maximum of 10
  • or short videos (mp4 for our instagram, vimeo/youtube link for our website)
  • an artist statement
  • your institution and contact details

Foundation/BA/MA (or equivalent) students from any creative course can submit.

See more about The Social Distance Art Project >