Artist shares work to inspire others to produce ‘lockdown art' archive

The Tribune is calling for readers to submit examples of 'lockdown art', be it paintings, sketches, poems or anything else

Tuesday, 31st March 2020

Phone box communication

A CANONBURY artist has called on people to get creative while stuck at home during the coronavirus pandemic, and hopes to inspire others to document their own lockdown experiences.

Painter Gary Power has shared some of his previous work depicting empty streets with the Tribune, along with a brief explanation for each.

He finished the paintings before the lockdown started, but says they are getting a lot of attention since the streets have emptied of people.

Now the Tribune is calling for other examples of ‘lockdown art’, be it paintings, sketches, poems or anything else.

Submitted pieces will be displayed in the future to create an artistic history of the lockdown in the borough.

The bank canvas, St Mary's Grove

The bank canvas, St Mary’s Grove. “To me indicates the Artist on hold, awaiting a return. But there is so much still around in our temporary absence.”

Blue Shutter, Compton Avenue

Blue Shutter, Compton Avenue. “The absence of people doesn’t stop things from feeling alive. The shadows are dancing to an empty evening. The colours lit by artificial light, at present not lit for people.”


Mr Power said he hoped his pieces would encourage others to capture and life in Islington during the lockdown.

“These past works may have a tiny glimpse into a world we now inhabit, but a world still full of wonder,” he told the Tribune.

Phone box communication

Phone box communication. “Although it’s dark at present, we can see the light which will soon bring us back into the beautiful clearing, and our links with neighbours will be returned.”

Mr Power added: “I paint empty streets so the viewer might feel they can inhabit the work easier, and feel it’s theirs.

“I hope people will try to express themselves creatively in these difficult but extremely unique times.”

Share your own lockdown paintings, poems or sketches by emailing

Since people were told to stay at home except for essential trips, Mr Power – who usually paints street scenes without any people in them – said the paintings had come to take on a new meaning for some of his followers.

The artist told the Tribune he wanted to share the paintings in the hope that people who see them could find solace, and pick up a brush, pen or pencil themselves.

Empty chair, Canonbury Road.

Empty chair, Canonbury Road. “I have always found the idea that people are not to far away but not seen intriguing,  The empty chair awaiting the sitters return.”

“Art shops are open online and they will deliver,” said Mr Power.

“You don’t have to set up an easel and oil paints. It’s just as easy to grab a pencil or pen.

“The idea of bringing the outside in could inspire us all during this lockdown.

“Our windows are the frames of potential paintings and drawings.

“I believe we instinctively feel a need to express how we feel during difficult times, and I truly think art offers an opening to all.

“Even 20 minutes a day of creative structure will put power back into our own hands. We can tell the story from our point of view through the language of art.

“But most important, do it for you. It does work”

Share your lockdown paintings, poems and sketches by emailing

You can see more of Mr Power’s work by visiting his Instagram account at


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