Art does not have to be overtly political to engage in activism. Through her image-making, Joanne Dugan sought her own form of activism - that of creation. She channelled inspiration from both the quiet of lockdown and the rallying cries of the Black Lives Matter movement calling for change and equality into her art.
A series that began as a reflection of a quiet time became a comment on the urgent and necessary demand for systematic change. The silence was broken by that which is too important to be paused by lockdown, the new noise of that powerful hope and thunderous rage is also reflected in these works.
The Seclusion Meditations series was created by Joanne Dugan as her personal response to a world community in crisis. Conscious that the inspiration for this work is a story that is not just her own, but rather one of a greater shared community, Joanne Dugan has pledged to give back a portion of her proceeds from the sale of this series to an arts centre in her local community. 10% of sales will go to The Harlem School of the Arts, a community arts centre that is committed to levelling the field and providing opportunity by empowering young people from across the multi-cultural and socio-economic spectrum by providing an exceptional, accessible arts education.
Black Box Projects is continuing the Art for Good programme, where 10% of all gallery sales are donated to Hospital Rooms, a charity championing the healing power of art by commissioning world-class artists to create art installations and art programmes for secure mental health facilities in the NHS service. More than ever, they are in desperate need of donations to help them stay afloat.
As painter Gerhard Richter said, "Where there is art, there is hope." We are all in this together.