Isolation can be a lot of things. It can be confronting, tiring, lonely at times, and peaceful and even productive at others. For a number of artists, whose work can be found in the Ashmolean's collections, isolation and confinement also served as an opportunity for extraordinary innovation and creativity.
In this video, Ashmolean Director Xa Sturgis shows us a small drawing by Ibrahim El-Salahi, one of the great pioneering artists of international Modernism, whose work links African, Arabic and European influences in a unique visual language. El-Salahi was the first African artist to have a retrospective at Tate Modern and in 2018 he had an exhibition here at the Ashmolean. The artist has had various moments in which he has found himself isolated or confined, and at these moments he's found ways of using his art to help confront and overcome these challenges.