With galleries, cinemas and theatres closed for months during Lockdown throughout COVID19 this year, the future of the visual arts has been looking pretty bleak. With life now taking place in a new virtual sphere, we may be questioning if the timeless experience of seeing the arts live or in the flesh will ever be the same again. The more optimistic among us, however, will hopefully agree that this sort of spectatorship could never be digitally replaced with enough success and these establishments will live on despite some considerable projected losses.
However, on a scaled down level, we do not need to look too far for a positive to come out of this momentary pause on life. The curious trends that swept across the nation, from making banana bread to tie-dying clothes and revamping the garden seemed to entice even the self-proclaimed ‘non-creatives’. For me this begged reflection on the nature of creativity. In the hectic everyday life of work, downtime is fleeting and to be cherished and the easy Sunday morning is followed all too quickly by the Sunday blues before Monday morning. In other words, time, and being bored, is a luxury – one that most of us were overindulged with this year. The feeling that we had completed Netflix and there was no more feed left to scroll is what pushed us all to try new things that we would not have in any other circumstance. What would happen, then, if we had more time on our hands? And what has it meant? This shift has moved a lot of us from being consumers to creators – making bread when we couldn’t buy any, making clothes when the shops were closed, and for some who were desperately bored, making TikToks instead of watching them.
Will we see a sort of Renaissance then, after the effects of this pandemic? With the rise of technology more is definitely possible, and who knows, maybe some of these hobbies have given some people a taste of the creative lifestyle and sparked enough interest to continue. One thing this time at home has made us all realise is the importance of winding down time and de-stressing and hopefully people will continue to make time in their busy schedule for these liberating activities. Let’s watch this space then to see some of the results of the big contenders.