Jordan Eastwood

Pandemic in Pictures Prize Nominee Jordan Eastwood responded to the Coronavirus Pandemic in the form of a pastel drawing. 

“Jordans powerful and intricate drawing emphasise and explore the mental health effects that this pandemic has had on the human race. Faced with uncertainty, fear and the thought of the unknown, Eastwood’s drawing explores those feelings, creating a striking visual response to current global events. Touching on the feelings of ones inner mind, this piece documents not only Eastwoods personal battle with isolation and the pandemic, but highlights how the vast majority of us have also felt too. We highly commend Eastwoods work and wish him the best of the luck in the future.”

– Samuel Fradley, Collective Director 

Eastwoods Words:

Pastels on Paper, 50x70cm

I began this series of drawings during the second lockdown of 2020. The goal of the series was to express some of my emotions that I’ve felt over the course of the pandemic. One of the challenges for this series was that I had very limited access to models due to the lockdown. As a result, it was necessary to use myself to model the figures, but this became a source of inspiration, and led to me basing the series off of my own feelings from this year.

The series looks primarily at anxiety, but this drawing in particular focuses on feelings of judgement, helplessness and isolation. Judgement from people with differing opinions, helplessness due to being unable to protect vulnerable family members, and isolation which I’ve felt for most of my life, but has been reinforced this year. The drawing was created using a range of black and white pastels, on PastelMat paper. I choose to draw in greytone to emphasise the values, creating dramatic lighting and a deep atmosphere. The resulting image is realistic, yet expressive.

Artist’s Statement – Jordan Eastwood is an emerging artist from Devon, in the UK.

“It has always been difficult to leave my own head. Growing up, I was happy enough to spend days on my own in the countryside. As I got older, there was a growing sense of isolation and a need to make real connections with people. But, instead of being part of groups, often I was on the outside, looking at people in general with fascination. How everyone acted, what they thought and what they would choose to say or to hide. At school, art helped me feel slightly more normal and even excited to see how people would react to my work.

As I got older still, and went on to university to study neuroscience, I struggled with mental health problems and a severe lack of satisfaction with how I would fit into society. After a few rough years, I began learning about philosophy in an attempt to understand people better, and it led me back to creative expression and art.

I think a lot of the feelings of loneliness come through in my artwork. Some will focus intimately on a single subject, and others will present groups as something unfamiliar. Regardless, art has always been a way for me to feel as if I had a connection to, and an understanding of, people.

I think that by portraying people and how they think, through art, you can help make sense of yourself and the people around you.

“Although having studied art at school, Jordan is a primarily self taught artist. Eastwood works primarily with pastels and charcoal to create his designs which are united by their use of dramatic lighting and a deep atmosphere. Each piece begins with gestural marks which are then developed through a combination of blending and bold marks. The final product achieves a high level of realism that is contrasted with abstract details. Towards the start of 2020, Eastwood began to work with clay to create sculptures. As with his drawings, he strives to create pieces that are realistic, yet expressive, along with slightly exaggerating the anatomy of the subject.”



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