Distance and Separation Exhibition in the Garden Gallery – 19th September 2020 onwards.

Distance is on everyone’s minds. Distance from family, distance from friends,
distance from colleagues and strangers. For months we have followed government rules to keep apart. Issuing the instruction is simple, implementing and adhering to it, not so. Wondering where to sit on the bus
or the train. Doing the pavement distance dance, as we attempt to avoid one
another. The dirty looks when people don’t adhere. Now we tackle the challenge
of maintaining distance in workplaces, schools, pubs and restaurants.

Staircase at Fletcher’s House, Woodstock long before it was converted into a Museum, Annie Thring, 1929.

Keeping a distance from loved ones is the painful part. We want to be close to them, but we also want to protect them. Many of us were forced to abandon holiday plans, whilst others remain at the mercy of constantly changing quarantine requirements. But we do not enjoy staying at home, especially alone. We are desperate to wander, and many push the boundaries to do so.

Distance is now ingrained in our daily existence. Inspired by this new normal,
we explored the Oxfordshire Museums Service’s collections in search of artworks that convey the concept of distance. Although drawn from many periods and of differing styles, the works displayed are unified by this concept. You can study that which is nearest or focus your attention on more distant details to better appreciate their less obvious merits.