Week 6 - Working through a Pandemic
Conversations with artists over the past few weeks have revealed that the creative community are feeling a whole wave of emotions when it comes to living as an artist during the pandemic. Some people have expressed that the massive change in how people interact with one another means that their practice no longer exists as they know it. Overwhelmed by the need to change how they create and present work, with a theatre maker expressing that with the departure of the creative environments they rely on has left them feeling like they are starting from scratch.
Coupled with the anxiety of feeling in constant danger or worrying about loved ones and the wider world. Loosing access to support networks and routine which gives artists the headspace, inspiration and energy to create. All the while there is a voice in the back of your head saying that you shouldn’t waste this precious abundance of time.
It’s not the same for everyone, there are the artists who thrive in isolation, void of distractions, who have become prolific. For some the emotions and situation have acted as a catalyst for new works, being forced to innovate. Spurred on by the need to capture, reflect or protest. With Covid-19 becoming an unlikely muse.
Five ways to keep in touch with your practice
Being able to create is integral to an artists’ wellbeing but for reasons listed above, it’s not always achievable. Here are 5 ways that artists are keeping links with their practice during the pandemic, with a focus on doing, rather than the exhausting task of thinking about making work.
One. Create a retrospective of your past work
Contemporary Queer Artist, Garth Gatrix is taking part in the #10DayArtChallenge. Through Instagram, he is reflecting on and exhibiting his past works.
Every creation is an achievement, it’s a positive action to look back on these deeds as a collection and reconnect with past creations and collaborators – you never know what inspiration can be found by taking a step back.
Two. Document the present
Document your reality, record your thoughts capture the changes and reflect society. It doesn’t need to be a huge commitment, but it may be important to record the incidentals of this unique time.
Photographer & filmmaker, Henry Iddon, has created a short film made over the recent Bank Holiday in Blackpool. “Nothing really happens… which is remarkable in itself!”
Creative Lancashire writes: This 12 minute film by Blackpool based photographer and film maker Henry Iddon documents the Easter Weekend 2020 (10th – 13th April). It shows virtually empty streets that would otherwise would have been full of visitors, it captures the silence broken only by the sound of the seas and seagulls. There are no bingo callers, rattling of rollercoasters or hum of chatter and traffic. Individual conversations can be overheard – one of which becomes the title.
Three. Work with your surroundings
People are organising, fixing and changing things up around the house. Morag Myerscough has taken things further by making her home her canvas. Professing that she is ‘more in the mood of making, rather than thinking’. The practicalities of which has meant that she has managed to get some domestic jobs ticked off this list in fabulous fashion, whilst keeping her creative muscles supple.
Four. Make use of being isolated
This could be an opportunity to make work that is directly influenced by these unique set of circumstances.
Artist Luke Beech has created a durational experimental piece ‘Under Caress, 2020’. ‘In the early morning, I prepared myself and began the process of fixing seeds to my body in hopes that they will soon germinate.’
He cared for the seeds which were attached to his body, which grew into cress, providing him with sustenance.
Five. Have some fun
A mass of people are getting onboard with TikTok dances, memes are spawning in their hundreds from Reddit with the latest ‘Stay Alert’ message becoming a Memer’s current artifact to toy with.
the Getty museum is challenging people to recreate their favourite artworks using themselves as the subjects and household objects as their props.
Keep it playful and use your own creativity to build the much-needed diversions into your daily routine.
We are NOT trying to find the ‘bright side’ of this crisis, there is no clear way to make sense of a global pandemic. But we want to help to make sure that should this happen again, the people and communities that have suffered the most are more resilient to its effects.
We deliver work along the Fylde Coast, but are interested in hearing from people living in different areas too. Join the debate –@LeftCoastUK #LeftCoastDebates