Being an artist in these uncertain times we are living, adds a different layer of complexity to one’s reality. Generally speaking, artists tend to juggle multiple part-time jobs in order to sustain their ability to create work. Under Covid-19’s enforced lockdown measures, many of these realities and jobs have stopped, leaving artists with more challenges to face as they are forced to find new ways to access materials, fund studio rent and locate time for their work within a domestic environment.
The arts are for many a process for healing, a space to facilitate an exploration of emotions and feelings that promotes grounding. However, amidst lockdown pressures of homeschooling, greater financial instability, violence and conflict within the home, swamped within an industry of cancelled exhibitions and reduced work networks, the space for an artists creativity can be compromised.
In this section we wanted to explore and acknowledge the different effects to everyday life that Covid-19 has brought to artists. That at times hinder their ability to create work as they deal with extra responsibilities and new burdens, but also this time has given space to many artists for new thought patterns and creative processes.
We wanted to give voice to those artists in quarantine and hear their stories, to learn how artists in a global lockdown are dealing with and responding to, the double-edge sword that an artist’s creativity can be.
In her ‘Spring Dance’ painting series, Hanna Dujmović takes us on a journey and introduces us to the world of colourful indoor landscapes. Taking inspiration from Matisse, Hannah uses bold primary colours and gives life to her characters trapped in their intimate spaces by surrounding them with vases of flowers and vibrant wallpapers.
The piece that was chosen for this exhibition is titled ‘Relaxation’. The relaxed state in psychological terms is “the emotional state of a living being, of low tension, in which there is an absence of arousal that could come from sources such as anger, anxiety, or fear. Relaxation is when the body and mind are free from tension and anxiety. Relaxation is a form of mild ecstasy coming from the frontal lobe of the brain in which the backward cortex sends signals to the frontal cortex via a mild sedative.” With these words, the artist tries to encourage people in isolation to devote themselves more to themselves and to their inner peace.
“In attesa che spiri un vento migliore, insieme culliamoci”
“In this project created exclusively at home, we wanted to demonstrate how the relationship between people changes, when something (COVID-19) forces us to change our habits. Physical contact previously considered natural, is lost. The deprivation of this has an affect on us on a mental, emotional level. The images represent daily actions that become commonplace, as all people find themselves performing the same gestures, the same rituals. This similarity of our actions during this time unites us, even though we are physically apart.”
“This personal artist diary is the result of a creative exercise to avoid despair and share the humorous moments that I have found during the complex times of COVID-19. This period of quarantine is full of challenges and we are together trying to make sense of the catastrophe of loss of life, of loss of income, of the deepening of inequalities and massive governmental mismanagement of the crisis (definitely in the UK but also so many other places). For me it is still hard to find ways to address big issues, such as the lack of PPE, the effects this crisis has on people made even more vulnerable, the constant news of those who, on the frontlines, are actually being sacrificed by the lack of appropriate government action. So instead I have chosen to share the story of my day to day experience, in the hope that this might put a smile on people’s faces. I hope that by doing this I am addressing how disoriented many of us feel and how important it is to find ways to cope, and to keep doing our bit to support each other in getting through this crisis. Be it by humour, stark political criticism, mindful reminders or inspirational ideas, art can uplift and make us keep our heads and hearts together, so we can carry on.”
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“The main goal of my artwork is to awaken happiness in people and to take them to a new dimension of life where colours are the source of life energy, love and positivism. I am trying to show in these uncertain and often gloomy times that there is a spark of light that can elicit a smile on our face.”