Online magazine capturing impact of COVID-19 on local artists

Capturing the imagination, mood and impact on local artists during the extended lockdown period, Exhibiting Culture Online is an online magazine that features artworks and articles from local artists with connections to the City of Darebin. The magazine’s website showcases stories curated by local content creators including Sam Elkin, Olivia Koh and Vidya Rajan, telling a story that is unique to Darebin yet relatable to all Victorians.

 An initiative of Darebin City Council, Exhibiting Culture Online was created in 2020 to support artists and audiences during a difficult year, with the artworks displayed in many forms including performing arts, visual arts, literary and multidisciplinary.

Each curator took a different approach and the third and final round of content, curated by artist Vidya Rajan, can now be seen online, alongside the first collection of content by curator by Sam Elkin and second collection by Olivia Koh.

Vidya Rajan is a writer, comedian and contemporary performance-maker working mainly across stage and screen. She is interested in work that is playful, formally adventurous and probing of our contemporary moment.  As a creative, she has recently worked with the Malthouse Theatre, Artshouse, Metroarts, the Blue Room, ABC Comedy, Red Stitch, SBS, Liminal Magazine and the Wheeler Centre. She has also recently curated work for Djed Press and the Sangam South Asian Arts Festival. Her practice, both artistic and curatorial, tries to ground projects in inclusive collaboration, knowledge exchange, and a hybridity of influences and outcomes.

In 2020, many of us were further apart, and for longer, than ever before. The digital became our main mode of transfer and connection, though it was often talked of a sort of dead thing – not quite real, just filled with loss. For many artists too, there was a pressure to suddenly pivot to putting work online without the time to pause and consider what it could offer them,” said curator Vidya Rajan of her work Proximities.

With this in mind, in Proximities, artists from different disciplines were given time and space to make work that responded not to a thematic, but to a formal provocation: consider how, in the ‘online’, their work can respond to an audience as an active participant in its creation and existence.  Was digital tactility possible, and how might their existing practices respond to this notion? she added.

The magazine can be viewed via

Photo Credit: Nevo Zisin

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