To mark the start of its ambitious and aptly named Festival of Islesolation, local arts and health charity Independent Arts has announced the opening of an exciting new community gallery space open to all – and it’s online!

Independent Arts say they are extremely grateful to the Arts Council for providing funding support as part of their COVID-19 response to enable the charity to undertake this project as part of a package to support the Island’s strong arts community.

The opening of the gallery will be marked by a highly topical exhibition of portraits of care workers and residents from 2 Island care homes. These portraits so aptly demonstrate how the charity’s work embedded in the care sector for over three decades is so well placed to sensitively portray the humanity of people’s lives and their work. The portraits were taken by Island photographer Julian Winslow and were commissioned as part of the charity’s Changing Spaces project funded by Dunhill Medical.

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The gallery will house rooms named after famous Island luminaries from the creative and literary world; the Julia Margaret Cameron Gallery, will be given over to photography, film and media. The Alfred Lord Tennyson gallery for poetry and creative writing. There will be a gallery housing the charity’s permanent collection, a sculpture gallery, a dedicated gallery showcasing work produced as part of the festival and in direct response to the COVID-19 crisis. This will include a Bayeux like, community Tapestry of Isolation telling your stories of lockdown.

The new gallery will also house its own fully equipped online performance studio.

Independent Arts CEO Lisa Gagliani MBE said:

“Since opening our Peoples Pop Up Gallery (PPUG) in 2019 we have discovered the importance of the community submitting and viewing art made by people like them. We have been inundated with requests to show work. Our new cyberspace home is so exciting because it’s vast, we can triple, quadruple our current gallery space and free ourselves from the constraints of a physical building. We are thankful to Arts Council England for funding this new online gallery space.

“The new gallery rooms and performance studio will become the home of our fantastic Festival of Islesolation. We hope the whole Island community of families, residents, artists, photographers, writers and performers of ages and backgrounds will create work for us and of course, come along and visit the space too. We want you to get creative and fill our beautiful new gallery with your thoughts, visions and reflections in any art form.

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“Practicing artists are invited to come forward to submit commissions for micro-projects too. Successful candidates will have presented ideas that best use their own practice to interpret their experience of lock down and engage and involve their communities too.

“The arts have so much to offer for everyone, and can be such a solace for loneliness and solitude especially in these dark and worrying times. We want you to respond to this point in history creatively and share that with us and the rest of the Island”.

Operations Manager Hannah Griffiths says:

“The most exciting part of the new online space will be The De Fortibus gallery. This gallery will show work curated by you, the local people of the Isle of Wight. Independent Arts is asking you to choose up to ten of your favourite artworks to be included in this regularly changing space. Perhaps you would like to curate with your family, your housemates, work colleagues or just pick pieces that speak to you.”

You can visit the gallery by heading over to

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