Art is keeping us inspired in Lockdown
Let me begin by raising a toast to the indominable spirit of mankind. We could not have changed the course of this pandemic, without science and its keepers. In this time of unprecedented crisis, it has been exceptionally inspirational to see how healthcare professionals, security forces and essential services workers, have held their position at the front-lines. But have you wondered, what else has kept the society going and connected in these difficult times of stress and isolation? What is that thing, which constantly reinforces the hope of normalcy? Or how are we re-imagining the world, without leaving the house? It is through art. Many newspapers and online publications are also talking about it and they have been featuring artists and their lockdown art.
Sir Albert Einstein had said,
“A society’s competitive advantage will come not from how well its schools teach the multiplication and periodic tables, but from how well they stimulate imagination and creativity.”
Science and Art are two sides of a coin
Uncertainty and impact of COVID-19 worldwide has already started to affect our mental and emotion balance. If it would not have been art and its power to entertain, refresh, inspire, distract, cleanse and reinstate aspiration, we would all have been victims of quarantine, malaise and melancholy. Perhaps that’s what makes art so valuable and desirable in these times of pandemic and its consequences.
I am sure the patrons of art will agree that while science has been saving the world from falling in the grip of the nasty virus, art has been keeping us all motivated and alive. The visual things, tangible items of all shapes & sizes, and our everyday creations are empowering us to every bit. With the help of art, we can feel limitless, even in the lockdown.
If you turn the pages of history, you will see that art has always kept us inspired and optimistic, despite the worst of events. In fact, many people have used art as a response to uncertainty and catastrophe. Nature, itself is God’s most beautiful art. You may not realize but just the presence of art, its trans-formative experience and its ability to lend a sense of happiness and meaningfulness in your life, drives away the numbing effect of negativity.
Art helps in proactive response and positive grieving
We are vulnerable individuals and this sudden detachment from our regular life is not coming easy on us. Thank God, we have art to alternate and modify the human psyche. No doubt we are all sad, but we are innovating and fighting the current situation in our own ways. Shift your perspective and you will see how art and artists are helping us respond proactively. Who is sewing the masks? Who is designing the catchy social message logos? Who is keeping you happy with all the creative recipes in the kitchen? Why are hobbies of painting, stitching, crafting reviving? Why are memes being used to alter your mood? What is keeping the patients distracted and busy on their phones?
My story and theme of art work!
The reality of the virus and the post-travel stress hit me when I returned from my international trip in February. By March, it got worse. When I cancelled my trip on 14th March, I was not very happy about the fact that many others were still not acknowledging the magnitude of the threat. I had an urge to educate such people and that is why I did my first drawing on social distancing. It was appreciated and shared widely. That feeling of creating something worthwhile was priceless. The aura of vibrant colours had a very positive impact on me.
Thus, I decided to buy a drawing book, some sketch pen sets and coloured pens. Due to constant travelling, I had not been able to return to my long-lost hobby of making situational drawings. This #stayhomestaysafe period gave me the right kick. In an attempt to rejuvenate and keep myself busy, I make one creation every day. I have used Indian art forms, Gond and Warli art to propagate awareness.
An artist and a traveler, never lose their passion and inspiration.
During lockdown, the idea of travel has been like a far-fetched dream but there has been no lockdown for an artist. One who loves to paint can wander anywhere with his/her creativity and colors. I have also tried capturing some moments of my travel to different countries and also created a whole video on the theme #ThrowThailand by using my drawings.
A slightly modified version of the above article was published in Deccan Herald newspaper during the last week of April.
And now I have a book too!
I am also happy to share that I have a dedicated ‘Instagram account’ for all my art work that I have done during these ‘stay at home’ days. I have made more than 100 drawings till date, keeping up to my #OneArtADay project. https://www.instagram.com/art_up_by_manjulika/