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Art in Lockdown

Has your art changed?

Speaking to some of my artist friends during lockdown has left me wondering whether artists are making art that is entirely different to what they normally do? I'm not referring to art that may seem different due to the physical absence or lack of art materials, but rather whether the content of their current art differs. There is a part of me that assumes that it must be altered simply because of the pandemic which we are facing collectively . I am seeing some creatives fragmenting and almost disappearing whilst others are creating absurd performances from their flats for all to see. There are incredible musicians and soloists that are sharing their music to heal. Last night I saw a nurse (UK) that, on her shift, gifts her unit with cello performances when things get really tough. I'm seeing huge collaborations between musicians from all corners of the world, playing together in orchestras or singing in virtual choir spaces. But what are visual artists doing? Somehow it feels as if visual artists are more hidden in their studios, within themselves ...


For this very reason I joined up with South African composer/conductor Franco Prinsloo on a project titled #music_for_isloted_musicians. Challenging himself to create during the 21day lockdown due to the world-wide COVID-19 pandemic, he came up with the idea to create 21 mini solo's for isolated musicians across the globe. Like the UK nurse who soothes her colleagues' pain and anxiety with her cello performances, Franco is gifting the world. Being an inter-disciplinary collaboration the audience is widening as the project runs and may soon link up with a trans-cultural exchange worldwide. And I think that this is perhaps the point I am trying to make: as I've shifted from off-line to on-line and trying to figure things out as I am doing it, I am creating new connections. Amidst the craziness and chaos I am sensing a heightening of creative opportunities as I inter-connect. Perhaps I am even re-defining or re-wiring my own beliefs about what connectivity is. .. Merging into a more fluid space - and yet not - perhaps I need to explore what online empathy is or might be? Perhaps it is the unified clapping of locked-down global citizens that show compassion for frontline health workers at the end of a gruelling shift. The landscape is changing ...


To follow more on my collaboration with Franco Prinsloo click here which will take you to a dedicated page that I have created on my website. As the performing videos come in showcasing musicians playing from within their homes, situated in various countries, I will translate these 21 Solo's into drawings as the project unfolds.




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