Julia Howe looks at how artists are using their creativity for good during lockdown.
Human beings are a resourceful bunch, particularly when confronted with a global pandemic that shows no signs of let-up in the UK. With many creatives, artists and organisations facing the disappearance of their income almost overnight, people have been devising inventive ways to keep creating and supporting each other during these unprecedented times.
Aukland University professor Peter O’Connor believes this surge of creativity is a natural response. As the academic director of the Creative Thinking Project, investigating creativity in everyday life, O’Connor says: “What we are seeing is people turning increasingly to … creative expression because there’s something about being in lockdown which is the same every day.
“We’re in these bubbles, but for a moment creativity takes us outside of our bubbles, distracts us, and gives us a purpose.”
Here’s a few innovative examples of creativity:
- ‘Scrub Hubs’ have popped up all over the UK to coordinate voluntary sewers willing to offer their services and sew scrubs and other uniform for the NHS, while the ‘For the Love of Scrubs’Facebook group has nearly 40,000 members
- Disco songstress Sophie Ellis-Bextor dons glittery glad rags to host a weekly #KitchenDisco live on Fridays at 6.30pm on Instagram, together with her kids showing off impressive dance moves. She even sings ‘Take Me Home’, now repurposed as ‘Stay At Home’
- For parents nearing the end of their tether, artist Pete McKee is providing cartoon-drawing tutorials on YouTube. His early videos have been racking up over 17,000 views
- Actor Sir Patrick Stewart is reading a Shakespeare sonnet a day on Twitter (@SirPatStew #ASonnetADay). Between one to two minutes long, Sir Patrick’s reads are each being viewed anywhere between 169,000 and 300,000 times, so clearly he’s doing something right. They’re soothing and intimate, as if he’s talking to us directly – a reminder perhaps how astute commentary on the human condition (Shakespeare) combined with video technology is a potent, comforting force when normal has been upended
- The V&A and the National Portrait Gallery in London are some of the museums joining forces with MoMa in New York to offer #MuseumFromHome. Seeing art directly in empty galleries is a refreshing change, particularly if (like me) your view of the painting has been obscured by the couple in front of you having an earnest discussion …
Brands, too, are flexing creatively in response. Clothing brand, Zara, posted samples of its new collection to its models, asking them to photograph themselves at home for their new campaign. While Virgin Media movingly reflects back to us how we’re using their broadband creatively to stay connected.
What creative tips and techniques are you using to survive lockdown? Email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org