Local artists pledge to support others during Covid lockdown

Annabel Keatley with one of her paintings.
Annabel Keatley with one of her paintings. / A. K.
  • Annabel Keatley and Gerrit Oppelland Hampel are both supporting the initiative which was founded by British artist Matthew Burrows

Two local artists, Annabel Keatley and Gerrit Oppelland Hampel, are participating in the Artist Support Pledge, an initiative set up by British artist Matthew Burrows designed to help artists during the coronavirus crisis.

Burrows, who is a London-based artist, came up with a business model that involves artists selling selected pieces of their work for no more than 200 euros, pounds or dollars via Instagram, under the hashtag #artistsupportpledge. So far the Instagram page has attracted almost 24,000 followers.

Once an artist has sold enough work to make 1,000 in their local currency, they must then purchase something from another participating artist. In an interview for Art NXT Level, Burrows explained that he wanted to form a "culture of generosity" among artists and allow them to "earn enough" to sustain themselves during the crisis.

"With galleries closed and art exhibitions and fairs cancelled for the foreseeable future, artists have lost one of their main sources of income," explains Gerrit, who lives in Marbella. "On 20 April we should have had an exhibition in Fuengirola and others in Estepona and Prague in May and June."

So far Gerrit has sold five of her paintings, while Annabel has sold eight. Annabel has reached her 1,000 euro target, which means she can now buy work from a fellow artist.

A win-win situation

"For me it's a chance to sell and to see what other artists, especially British ones, are doing," explains Annabel, who admits that she can feel "a bit cut off from what's going on in the UK" from her home near Almuñécar.

In most cases the purchases don't include shipping costs, which Gerrit admits "is a bit of a challenge at the moment". But she explains that as soon as the work can be shipped, it will be.

However, as some of her buyers are local, it will be easier to get the pieces to her buyers. "I have had a lot of interest from people who know me. It's selling my work in a different context," she says. "It's a win-win situation. Everyone is giving something."

Annabel meanwhile is including a special series of paintings called 'Lockdown' in her offer, which she says she started earlier this month to which she is "adding new work" all the time.

Both artists agree that the initiative which is "based on trust, generosity and community spirit" is bringing artists together and is also "a great way for art lovers to find new artists and buy affordable art".