Living with the Pandemic: Glenn Ibbitson
Resident in Newcastle Emlyn for 15 years, Glenn Ibbitson left a career as a scenic artist for film and television, spending several years with the BBC. This work had provided opportunities for him to practise trompe-l’oeil techniques and visual trickeries on an industrial scale. We asked Glenn Ibbitson how things have been for him in this challenging time of pandemic.
Glenn told us: “I can only imagine how devastating the lockdown has been for people living in cramped accommodation on large urban and suburban housing estates and in high-rise blocks. Even worse if they are sharing the little space they have with a potentially abusive partner.
“For me, my living and working regime is pretty sedentary anyway and partner Carole King is the other half of our creative mutual support system. I have to say that little has really changed for us, apart from the occasional bread flour shortage, fewer visits to the sea, and greatly reduced petrol bills.
“With unusually fortuitous timing, work on my new studio had just been completed when the first restrictions came into place, so I had a more extensive space to work in. Consequently, my output increased greatly, with fewer interruptions through the working day.
“The closure of our galleries has greatly reduced opportunities for artists to show and sell in the public sphere. This has encouraged me to commence work on an online gallery for my work with facilities for visitors to purchase the paintings and drawings on display. As they say, ‘Watch this space’…
“Escaping the perpetually downbeat news has been more difficult. Social media has helped here, with suggestions of dramas, books, movies and music to catch up with or revisit.
“I devised a list of films to enjoy during isolation. An eclectic mix, it comprised:
Good Night, and Good Luck
The Big Lebowski
Seance on a Wet Afternoon
The Lives of Others
and everything by Powell and Pressburger
“Other people’s lists directed me back to the 1979 BBC production of Thérèse Raquin and to a magnificent performance of Romeo and Juliet choreographed by Nureyev [Orchestre de l’Opéra de Paris]. So the soundtrack to my isolation has been provided by Prokofiev – and Steely Dan!
“I have been very fortunate; but I am looking to meet up with family and friends again.
“What a party that will be!”