What an exciting week! Thanks to the lockdown gods for letting us open our doors again this week and welcome students back into our studio! We had a fantastic re-opening and it was so wonderful to see all the familiar and new faces coming through the studio doors.
Today marks one year since the UK went into a National Lockdown. Many of us still remember where we were when we heard the news. We clustered around phones with loved ones or watched on television as the Prime Minister announced our new normal. At the time, there had been 335 deaths. A year later, there have now been nearly 150,000.
On this national day of Covid-19 reflection in the UK, I want to add my voice to many others offering condolences for those who have experienced an extremely difficult year. For the bereaved, the isolated, the sick, and many others. This day allows us to remember and celebrate the lives of those who have died and look forward to a better future. We have reason to hope, as the pandemic is slowly challenged – through social measures and our incredible new vaccination program…….
Artists have always tried to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life in order to create. To truly liberate the imagination is to have space and freedom to reflect, create, and innovate, allowing your creativity to flourish.
Never was this put more to the test than during the pandemic! Artists like me, who usually maintain studios outside of our homes, were forced to improvise. We turned to desks at home, the kitchen table or – for the lucky ones – a garden shed. But what started out as something immensely frustrating quickly became a valuable lesson. Through this process, our idea of creativity evolved. Instead of relying on a special room to be the perfect place in which to produce things, we shifted to an understanding that any space can become ‘the studio,’ even if only for a short time between other uses. It was a privilege to discover all over again that all creativity needs is a tiny pocket of space in which to bloom……..
This time last year I was moving at a million miles an hour, working, parenting, and running a household. I had a stack of unread books by my bed, a to-do list that never got shorter, and couldn’t remember what me-time was. Being creative had become work, and somehow I’d lost track of how to keep a healthy work-life balance. I was on a treadmill, and I couldn’t seem to get off.
But in March 2020 everything changed………..
“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.”
What is creativity? And how does it feel?
It’s hard to put into words what creativity is like. Artists have described the creative process as like being on an island in the storm, or like hearing music in the silence. For me, it’s a place of sanctuary and peace where the real world doesn’t touch me. It doesn’t even have to be a certain type of creativity – we might think of painting, poetry, music or writing – but the world has as many creative pursuits as there are stars in the sky……..