Joining forces: three Soho Works members launch an art initiative

black and white photo of man lying on rug on grass

Through a series of still-life artworks, member-founded creative house TRIADIC tells the story of life in lockdown

By Jess Kelham-Hohler    Images courtesy of TRIADIC (top: Still Life with Figure by Tom Lovelace)  Thursday 7 May, 2020  Short read

Clorox wipes, wilted flowers and household objects given a refresh with a paintbrush – if your life right now was a still life, what would it look like?

Enter TRI-STILL LIFE, a digital initiative founded by TRIADIC, a new creative house led by Soho Works members, strategist Lizzie Edelman, creative director Mafalda Millies and curator Roya Sachs. Inspired by Art As Therapy by philosopher Alain de Botton and art historian John Armstrong, the trio invited more than 150 artists, creatives and innovators, including Neshat and Boychild, to share a still life that depicts their current experience. They launched the project on 10 April and have posted a different artwork via the @tri_adic Instagram channel every day since. While the works themselves range from oil pastel drawings to photographs, each submission explores the surreal state of our current isolated reality.

Here, co-founders Edelman, Sachs and Millies discuss the origin of the project and what’s next, along with a pick of three TRI-STILL LIFE artworks.

What inspired you and the other founders to start this project?
In the wake of our current global crisis, the state of the world is constantly changing. We wanted to react to this uncertainty by creating something that reflects on this in real time. Through this series, we hope to find a way to connect people through collective storytelling and harness creativity in order to inspire our community.

Do you think the role of social media in promoting and uplifting artists is changing, and if so, will it last beyond this current crisis?
Social media has always given artists a platform to share and promote their work, engage directly with audiences and tell their own story. During this time, when galleries and cultural institutions find their doors physically closed, their focus has had to shift to the virtual world. In doing so, they have found broader, more accessible means to share their artists and content. As a result, audiences have expanded and a growing number of people now have time and new tools to explore and engage in the cultural sphere. We hope these efforts and institutional access will live beyond the current crisis, and open up new doors for how we digest arts and culture.

What has the response to TRIADIC been like so far?
We have experienced a positive wave of excitement, support and curiosity, demonstrating the overall longing for disciplinary crossovers between the arts and other industries – a need to democratize art by taking it out of white cube spaces and into the real world. We are finding that each project and client has brought us together in different ways. We hope that we are able to continue our efforts in creating unique, powerful and impactful moments for the various communities we touch.

Below, the TRIADIC team shares three of the submissions it’s received so far, with notes from the artist.
A flower hanging from a drone flying in a hallway.
A laptop, lamp and other objects in low light.
(Clockwise from above) Untitled by Ruby Barber, 18 April 2020, Berlin, Germany
‘During this suspended state, I’ve found myself imagining our possible futures and how nature and technology will collide.’

Still Life With Timer by Troika, 25 April 2020, London, United Kingdom
‘We made this a while back in 2010. Originally, it was displayed as a sound installation paired with our electroprobe, a little microphone that enables you to hear electromagnetic noises of objects. As a standalone image, it felt strangely relevant to our time during the COVID-19 pandemic. The loneliness of the shot. The overt presence of all these electronic objects and communication tools, which have become our reality; late at night, after all your Zoom friends have left the chat and you find yourself pondering what will happen next, what is important, while longing to belong to someplace, some people, sometime, trying to cling on to some feeling of normalcy.’
Various fruit items connected by wires.
Floating Chain by Justin Lowe and Jonah Freeman, 21 April 2020, New York City, USA
‘The contents include, but are not limited to: Chewable Clorox. The view from Liberace’s Bathroom. Light wave therapy. Meow Meow Ocean Burst. Self Portrait Mania. Narcotic Moisturiser. Futons of the Rich and Famous. Flea Market Genes. High Entropy Breakfast. Disco Creeps. The “I hope you aren’t insulted” era. Spray Foam Ceilings. Merlot and Coca-Cola cocktails. One Minute songs. Two State Solutions. Lesbian Separatist Funk. A Concrete Based Wellness Seminar. DHL uniforms are the fashion choice of the season. Vaporwave.’

Follow @tri_adic to see more submissions and follow the visual journal.
@tri_adic originally shared this look inside its project via a takeover of @sohoworks – keep an eye on the account for more content from creative entrepreneurs.
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