We are living in crazy times. Coronavirus (aka Covid-19) has taken over, forcing us all to retreat into isolation and in a time when the whole world feels like it is falling apart, I can’t help but reflect on the things that really matter. Of course, the main things are our safety and well-being, having a roof over our head and food on the table and a reliable income.
So, the big question is, does art, matter?
How can art matter?
Surely, it’s frivolous and indulgent, at the very least unimportant at a time of crisis? Even artists may go through a period where they will question this themselves, a period where they are unable to find a justifiable meaning to their creativity when so many are suffering.
However, in a time of crisis, I believe that art matters more than ever. I believe having meaningful art in our surroundings is imperative.
People are dying, the economy is in a tailspin, and the very essence of our freedom seems to be disappearing. We live in a never-ending news cycle where people are inundated with fear-evoking doom-and-gloom economic headlines around the clock. People – regular people, now spend hours on end glued to their computer screens, watching their investments and pensions disappear. Imagine all the stress this massive influx of information causes us all on a daily basis, with no respite in sight.
Yet, somehow, we are moved inward, to the world of our thoughts and imagination, a place we have perhaps neglected. Art gives our eyes and mind a chance to rest, to ponder and to wonder. Looking at art, we reconnect with our inner selves – to our spirit. A spirit which is rich in thoughts, feelings, and dreams, a spirit that can’t be bankrupted, no matter what is happening in the financial markets.
Art matters because people matter.
In times of crisis people are open, and ready and wanting to connect – art, or any creative human expression, becomes more important than ever in helping us feel connected to each other or to ourselves. Art gives people a voice.
Art can tell a story – a universal story that people regardless of culture, beliefs and time can relate to. It crosses boundaries.
Art can also be political, provoking, stirring – opening our eyes to new ways of thinking and awareness.
Art can heal people emotionally – it can brighten spirits, sooth and inspire. A beautiful painting or sculpture can transform us and uplift us in a way nothing else can. Art can also heal on a deeper level – there are many art therapists working with people from all walks of life who use art to help them open-up and release deeply buried emotions and traumas.
I believe that if ever there has been a time for art to matter it is NOW.
The Time is Now – A Note for Artists:
People are spending much more time at home, staring at their walls and considering their spaces. I know financial constraints are a serious concern for many, but others are finding they are spending less – travel costs and entertainment and non-existent or minimal – and if they aren’t spending money on a dinner or evening out they might just be tempted to purchase a piece of art that they come across via their social media feed.
So, if you are an artist – now is your opportunity. Post that painting, sketch or sculpture or whatever creative medium you favour and maybe you will make that very needed connection with someone who really needs it. Holding thumbs for you! x