Creativity and Covid
Six months into this new normal and how do we feel about being creative? Those of us who like to paint, write, compose; simply be creative were both inspired and troubled by this situation. Hundreds of furloughed workers created art for the first time; a true reflection of how being creative helps the mind, in whatever form that takes.
Modern Art Chester launched on the 1st April; despite the climate and has proved that there is interest; solace and pleasure in re-organising the home; buying art to contemplate and give new life to the interior space of peoples’ lives.
A personal sadness was not being able to visit galleries and museums for many weeks. It has given me a great sense of calm to be able to visit these spaces again. To see works that are like old friends, who give comfort.
Two of the artists on Modern Art Chester have found the last six months a catalyst for positive change in their work. One was furloughed and eventually made redundant, but found hope in continuing to produce work, to paint and create abstract expressions of this and his situation.
The other artist was on a short visit to a farm on a Scottish island and lockdown turned that visit into a five month stay. She had limited access to paints and equipment, so readily at hand under normal times. Looking back on those months now from her home; she reflects ‘spending time in two contrasting places evoked a distinct difference in my work as a painter. It generated a different response, reaction, feeling and emotion to the environment around me. It took many weeks to pick up a paint brush, instead like most people, I grew vegetables, worked the land, enjoyed the farm and the animals. It was only when I knew I could leave the island that I began to paint again’.
Suzi began to create a series of paintings far more intimate and minimal than her previous works; whilst walking the shores of Arran. She feels ‘this series of Arran paintings has been greatly influenced by the unexpected length of time spent on an island during lockdown; particularly one as remote as Arran. My recent works have reflected the frustration of feeling trapped initially, to being patient and calm, and simply acknowledging my situation’.
If we have another lockdown; can art provide an even deeper inspiration? It is capable of this; it is powerful enough at times to consume a viewer; it is emotive enough to continue to calm and inspire the mind even in its darkest times.