"You’re headed to a private view for a new exhibition, what can you expect? A DJ spinning some obscure tunes? check. A free glass of something bubbly on your way in? double-check. The chance to feast your eyes on some exciting works up-close-and-personal before the doors are opened to the viewing public? Now that’s guaranteed. But what happens when those doors never open? The rapid spread of the Covid-19 virus has meant galleries across the country have closed; their exhibitions postponed or axed completely. This leaves artists nationwide steeped in an unprecedented level of uncertainty surrounding their own futures. For Ellie Pennick, founder and curator of Guts Gallery, she couldn’t sit around and do nothing.
"'When shit started to hit the fan, all of Guts Gallery’s physical exhibitions had either been cancelled or postponed. I had phone calls with artists who were panicking about income and having no other choice but to go onto universal credit,' explains Pennick. 'I could of either sat in isolation and waited until this blew over, or put my ethos of supporting underrepresented contemporary voices into action by navigating this set back through a digital Instagram exhibition.' With this came the aptly titled When Shit Hits The Fan, an Insta-exhibition that even kicked off with a virtual private view of its own. I attempted to join in on the fun myself, pulling a tinnie from the fridge and sticking on a questionable Spotify playlist whilst I made my way through the in-app space."