Portland: Letters from Isolation
Portland Collective [Georg Dahled, Rosie Dahlstrom, Nic Evans, Georgina Kapralou, Alice Morey & Veera Rustomji]
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Portland's 'Letters from Isolation' zine issue serves as a snapshot of each of the lives of the Portlanders at a historic moment, the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. One paces their tiny attic flat in Croydon; another considers an odd artefact in a university museum; another writes a letter home to their mum and dad. The cover image, by the three-year-old niece of one of the Portlanders, seems to sum up the emotional landscape of the time and place of the publication. The world of Portland, a mundane fantasy, provided an important escape and focus for its islanders, and this issue is the start of a series of long-distance, collaborative lockdown publications, or quaranzines.
Portland was discovered in Chelsea College of Arts in 2019 by 8 MA students. Named after the strange almost-island off the south coast of Dorset, whose famous white stone has been quarried to form most of the greatest structures of London, Portland is an imaginary site where the artists can co-habit and create, away from their real-life struggles of under-employment, visa restrictions, and the global pandemic. Portland is a ramshackle, barely functioning, cold and damp place, a meeting place of necessity, not of choice. Its people are eccentric, inebriated and sometimes slightly threatening. They could have been shipwrecked there, or they could have had nowhere else to go.
Portland creates zines, films and texts; holds artist talks, symposia, educational workshops and puts on exhibitions of collaborative work. They have had recent projects in Leipzig, Karachi and Leicester, all 2021.
*Please get in touch with the artist directly if you require more details.*