The Pandemic and why art is more important than ever before
Updated: Apr 7
As the pandemic hit in March 2020, life as we knew it changed. We became ‘locked in’ and ‘locked down’ in our physical environments but also in our minds. To comprehend what this pandemic would mean, what we would do, how we would live and how we could function in a world that was so upside down just felt so big. Like an un-controlling monster threatening our very existence.
The fear, uncontrol and uncertainty of the pandemic has taken its toll on us all. It’s wide ranging impacts have changed the way we fundamentally live our lives.
Many of us have turned to art to help us through the time, providing us with an outlet, some much needed wellness, and to help our mental health. Art is about expression, and we all need to express how we feel, and in turn, feel better from it. Not only does it allow us a release from stress, tension and uncertainty when times are hard, it also helps us to discover new meaning, to explore, and to feel grounded when things feel a little upside down, helping us to create a air of sense that in turn, enables us to express our beliefs and fears safely, whilst providing a sense of control and calm.
When we thought that all Arts and creative avenues were closed and unavailable, we have found new ways, through digital media, to connect with the arts and be creative. When we first went into Lockdown, I remember writing a post to my following that touched on Zoom (I’d never heard of it until then) which provided a way to offer online craft sessions, art classes, dance classes...etc. You name it Zoom was that channel. Even the simple act of connecting via video was a new one for me. I had it available before but why didn't I use it? The point was, I rarely felt the need to before. I saw people, I was connecting in other ways, face to face. I took it for granted. I, like many of us, have continued to use Zoom, video conferencing, WhatsApp video, meets ups online to connect through the pandemic.
In my blog from 2019, I wrote about The link between art, health and wellness and how art has a huge, fulfilling and positive role to play in all our lives, our health and wellbeing.
One year into the pandemic, and creating art is more important than ever and the contribution art gives to our happiness and wellbeing is enormous. And it will play an extremely important role as we start to focus on the after effects of the pandemic, the recovery, and what they now recognise as Long Covid, the long term effects and associated mental health impact this has had on so many.
One TV programme I’ve been watching recently is Grayson’s Art Club Grayson's Art Club - All 4 (channel4.com) and I am hooked. Celebrity guests, artwork of all kinds, Artists of all ages, being showcased - it really is a joy to watch and as an Artist I love the indulgence of it, after a busy day. Grayson himself said art was more important than ever which is why programme’s like this and other such as, Landscape Artist of the year, and The Big Painting Challenge seem to be rising in the viewing ranks and becoming popular to watch, but also they are inspiring us all in the pursuit to develop wellness through Art and learn of the many benefits Art has to offer for our mental wellbeing.
In one of my other blogs, I’ve written about why I started to doodle more. Doodling is a great way to relieve stress, refocus the mind… I could go on...as I’ve seen the benefit to me in how it can help our mental state but i wrote about it because i was sat there one day in Lockdown 0.1, and realised if I didn’t introduce something to help how I was feeling, I would end up sat with that feeling (not a bad thing) but not being able to do anything about it. Have a read on doodling and what I did here.
On the 17th to the 23rd of May, its creativity and wellbeing week. Ran by the Culture, Health & Wellbeing Alliance and London Arts in Health are putting on a series of events celebrating the power of creativity and culture to transform our health and wellbeing. Creating opportunities for everyone, to access the enormous health benefits of arts and cultural activities. There are a number of events you can get involved in so thought I’d drop the link below. https://creativityandwellbeing.org.uk/
Bye for now, take care and stay safe x
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