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Frontline Workers exhibition launched at GEMA

Johnny Bugeja

An art exhibition celebrating the achievements of and dedication shown by frontline workers for the people on the Rock during the Covid-19 pandemic was launched by Minister for Culture Dr John Cortes at the GEMA Gallery on Monday afternoon.

Speaking at the launch was Seamus Byrne from Cultural Services. He explained that the exhibition was an accumulation of a community project where local artists created portraits of Gibraltar’s frontline workers. The project was established as part of Gibraltar Cultural Services’ cultural development drive during social lockdown.

He credited his team at the events and development department for getting such a response to the project with over 50 local artists taking part in the challenge.

“The idea came from a BBC programme where an artist called Tom Croft started painting for free in the UK during the lockdown. The Minister [motioning to Dr Cortes] brought this to our attention and for that I am very grateful and thank you also to all the artists who have taken part for free as well,” he said.

Before he spoke about the exhibition, Dr Cortes ensured social distancing guidelines were met.

“Culture is very much underrated at some times and sometimes people forget its importance,” he said.

Culture in Gibraltar came to the fore during lockdown particularly and … in a lot of ways culture is still on lockdown as there are lots of things we would like to do that we cannot do,” he said.

“But, I think it has actually helped to promote the cultural world in Gibraltar.”

“The performing arts have been doing things online and with music on all sorts of virtual platforms and clearly the visual arts, including the ones we are seeing here today, have captured and locked forever what has happened to Gibraltar and our community.”

The exhibition will be held at the GEMA Gallery in Montagu Bastion from Tuesday, August 25 to Friday, October 2.

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