The International COVID-Collaborations Folio 2020-2021

The Immunisation Coalition is proud to support this project initiated by artist William Kelly, in association with 28 artists and poets from around the world.

Immunisation Coalition

A Shared Step on a Long Journey

In the midst of international COVID-19 lockdowns, William Kelly initiated this collaborative project. Using his initial image, artists then added their own thoughtful concerns…home as a place of isolation, sanctuary and, sometimes, anxiety; the dire circumstances faced by many First Nations people and people of colour; evocative images of hope, respect, and aspirations. In this time of our ‘separateness’, they show we are here together whether in Tehran, New York, Melbourne, Geneva, Oklahoma City, Haut-Valromey, or Casablanca. Though isolated by the pandemic, they show with grace and dignity…we are closer than ever.                                                                                                                            

Professor Peter Doherty has said he shares “…Alfred Nobel’s conviction that war is the greatest of all human disasters. Infectious disease runs a good second.” Elevated now are the real ‘heroes’ on the ‘front lines’ – not with guns, tanks and bombs – but with life-saving skills shared across borders, religions and ideologies. Though we may reflect on the words that ‘everyman’s death diminishes me’, we now have learned to celebrate that every person’s survival is a victory for us all.   

The following are the individual artworks included in the project:

William Kelly is an Australian artist and peace activist, former steel worker, former Dean of the Victorian College of the Arts (Melbourne), recipient of peace and human rights awards on three continents, subject of the feature film “Can Art Stop a Bullet? William Kelly’s Big Picture”, founder of The Peace Project, has held over 20 solo exhibitions internationally with work in collections including the Australian National Gallery, Guernica Peace Museum, United Nations Collection – Geneva.  He is the initiator of the COVID Collaborations Project.  

Dr. Janet McKenzie-Spens is an artist, art historian, author of numerous books, and former editor of ‘Studio International’ magazine who relates deeply to the landscape of Fife Ness in Scotland, where she now lives. 

Bill Hay is a Melbourne painter/printmaker whose work moves from playful and ironic to strongly socially attuned with works in the collection of the National Gallery, Canberra as well as most State collections.  

Alex Skovron, born in Poland just after WW II and migrated to Australia in 1958. He is a poet, recipient of numerous awards including the Peter Porter Poetry Prize, Australian Book Review Poetry Prize and is author of six poetry collections.  

Mona Badamchizadeh is an artist and peace worker, lives in Tehran, Iran, has worked in Guernica and Hiroshima, is a member of International Network of Museums of Peace and co-ordinator of ‘Arts for Peace’ at the Tehran Peace Museum. 

Andy Marcus is a master draughtsman who holds a higher degree from the University of Pennsylvania, lives in the heart of New York City but, ironically, remains a somewhat reclusive artist who creates work that is both personal and universal.  

Dr. Anne Elvey is a widely published Australian poet, author, editor in chief of the Melbourne Poets’ Union who holds honorary appointments at Monash University and at the University of Divinity where she is a member of the Centre for Research in Religion and Social Policy.  

David Hauptschein is a Chicago based artist and playwright who has received awards including at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival as well as holding over a dozen exhibitions of his work throughout America. 

Theo Strasser, born in the Netherlands, is a Melbourne based painter, book artist and collaborator (with artist Peter Lyssiotis) on a number of projects often to do with peace and justice, frequently employing images such as the stylized oak leaf used by the Japanese as a symbol of strength and wisdom. 

Andy Jackson is a widely published multi-award-winning Australian poet of whose work it has been written “compassion is, and has always been, the distinguishing feature” – an element clearly evident in what has been called his semi-fictional verse novella, ‘Immune systems’.

Raymond Watson is a Belfast, Northern Ireland, artist who holds a Master of Philosophy degree, with exhibitions in many countries including projects in Africa and India – often with children – as expressed in this folio – with his ‘collaboration’ not only with William Kelly but also with his granddaughter Abbie. 

Driss Alaoui Mdaghri is a widely published poet, social activist…former Moroccan Cabinet Minister and the initiator of the ‘Come to My Home’ project and The Casablanca Centre – a Christian/Muslim Think Tank.

Mary Modeen is a Scottish-American artist, Professor of Art at the University of Dundee (Scotland) and, widely exhibited internationally, she is also a recognised researcher on feminist and Indigenous studies.

Samuel Elias Pritchard is an American poet, writer, former editor of ‘Sketch’, literary journal of Iowa State University and currently lives in Ames, Iowa.

Ian Tully is an artist, New South Wales resident, Director of the Swan Hill Regional Gallery (Victoria), whose work reflects a deep interest in rural and regional Australia, often reflecting competing interests of society, politics and environment. 

Fatemeh Vafaeinejad is an artist, former political prisoner gaoled for four years for her peace activism in Tehran, asylum seeker via the United Nations refugee agency and graduate of the Victorian College of the Arts (Melbourne).

Charles Bremer is a New York State based artist, environmentalist and community activist who has been quoted that his art processes ‘…trace the pathway of our desires toward a life shared, expressive and alive’.

Dr. Rama Mani is a performance artist, founder of ‘Rising Women Rising World’, creator of the Enacting Global Transformation Initiative at the Centre for International Studies, University of Oxford and founder of the ‘Theatre of Transformation’.

Tim Bass is a Sydney based artist, participant in numerous exhibitions, former Artist in Residence at the Australian National University and former Acting Dean of the School of Art of the Victorian College of the Arts.

Claire Van Vliet is a Canadian-American, internationally renowned book artist, founder of Janus Press, known as producer of ‘ground-breaking innovations in the book arts field’ and recipient of the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship. 

Godwin Bradbeer is a Melbourne artist, subject of a recent Thames and Hudson monograph and former lecturer RMIT School of Art who has exhibited in Australia, Korea, Belgium, France and Hong Kong.

Peter Sparling is a dancer/choreographer, artist, former Principal Dancer with the Martha Graham Company (New York City) and is currently ‘Rudolf Arnheim Distinguished University Professor Emeritus’.

Susan Fealy is a Melbourne-based, multi-award-winning poet and clinical psychologist whose poems have been published in the United States, India, Sweden as well as in Australia. 

Dr. Alexander Schieffer is a founder of the TRANS4M Academy and co-founder with Rama Mani of Home for Humanity in rural France who, as well as being an activist and published poet, is guided by the notion of ‘unity in diversity’.

Edgar Heap of Birds / Hock E Aye Vi is a Cheyenne and Arapaho Nations artist, Professor Emeritus of Native American Studies – University of Oklahoma, who has exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, NYC, and in over one dozen countries.

Rochelle Patten is an artist, Yorta Yorta Elder, member of the Ethics Committee for the Aboriginal Health & Medical Research Council (NSW), member of the Elders’ Advisory Committee for the Royal Children’s Hospital (Melbourne) and recently honoured with an exhibition at Bunjilaka (Victorian State Museum).

Ben McKeown, an Aboriginal artist of the Wirangu language group, holds a Master’s Degree from the Victorian College of the Arts and has held a number of exhibitions including representing Australia in the “50th Anniversary of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights Print Portfolio”.

Cathy Drummond, a Carlton, Victoria based artist with a dozen solo exhibitions to her name, ‘has a keen eye for the everyday, as well as the often-small joys it can bring’…with home and neighbourhood often as central themes.  

Veronica Pritchard Kelly is an award-winning ceramic artist, painter, teacher and community activist whose images, focussing on urban form, are often inclusive of text that reminds us of our social responsibility – a message she has presented in workshops in Europe, USA and rural Australia, where she now lives. 

Page Published: 23 April 2021 | Page Updated: 30 April 2021