Today, tomorrow and the weeks ahead we find ourselves in a corona virus lockdown with our usual hobbies, socialising and access to the outside world limited for the majority of us, turning to the arts for relaxation and expression is becoming more important than ever.
Creativity is known for reducing stress and broadening our minds, which is vital at this current time, and due to the non-discriminatory nature of this crisis, not only are we isolating, but our favourite musicians, artists, film makers and sports stars are going through the same struggles as us. This has led to unparalleled creativity that is giving us new and exciting ways to overcome the boundaries that separate us through the most versatile and indestructible medium - art, in all its forms.
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For lovers of theatre, National Theatre Live have put up some of their previously screened productions to watch for free on Youtube. On thursdays, these productions will be screened live at 7pm and will remain on NT’s youtube catchup channel for seven days. From Andrew Llyod Webber’s musicals to Shakespeare ( with King Lear being the perfect play - as it was written by Shakespeare during his own isolation from the plague) to metropolitan operas, there is something for all the family to enjoy at just the click of a button. To find out more about accessing these theatre productions, visit the website below. https://www.housebeautiful.com/uk/lifestyle/g32030829/coronavirus-lockdown-stream-musicals-theatre-shows-free/
If you’re passionate about music, Lady Gaga ( in partnership with the World Health Organisation) is hosting a virtual concert with a variety of different musicians and celebrities involved. One World : Together at Home will have artists from Paul McCartney to Billie Eilish performing, ensuring that all of the family’s different tastes will be catered to during the concert. We can also use this time to rediscover the art of listening to a complete album (often neglected in the hustle and bustle of everyday life), the way the artists intended it. If you’ve ever wanted to explore a new era or type of music, listening to a different artist and reading up on different movements can be a vital outlet to the emotions we are all feeling in this time.
Reading is also a great way to spend time in solitude - never has there been a greater opportunity to try and tackle a large series or a novel from a different culture, language or author then when time is plentiful. It is also a great way to connect with loved ones outside of the household, and setting up a book club with other loved ones could maintain social connections and discussion even if its not face to face. This pleasure can be enjoyed by all ages, and even if your children prefer a more interactive reading experience, authors are making sure that children still enjoy reading when away from school. The children’s author and illustrator Oliver Jeffers is dedicating his time in isolation to hosting a ‘stay at home’ storytime where he reads a book everyday on Instagram. He spoke out saying that “we are all at home, but none of us are alone,” and his storytimes are becoming the much needed routine to define our lives when sometimes days can just blur into one!
If you’re missing cultural days out, a unique opportunity has been provided by museums across the globe, who are opening their doors to everyone via the medium of the internet. Whether you’re interested in exploring the culturally rich Vatican museums, exploring science and evolution at London’s Natural History museums, or expanding your horizons to looking at Modern South Korean art - there has been no better time to explore a new artist or culture than now. To explore further and look into different virtual museum tours, click the link. https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2020/mar/23/10-of-the-worlds-best-virtual-museum-and-art-gallery-tours#maincontent
Indulging in other people’s creations is a great way to spend time, but perhaps one of the most fulfilling things we could do in this time is to try and access and nourish the creative part of ourselves. From writing prose, poetry, painting or learning an instrument - we all know creativity needs time and setting goals could be a good way to maintain a routine whilst other forms of routine are compromised. Shemer Art Centre is hosting virtual art classes that you can participate in from home, and you can access this through their app ( more information can be found here https://www.raisingarizonakids.com/2020/04/indulge-arts-coronavirus-crisis-quarantine/). With artist feedback and an activity book available, they will ensure that you’re kept busy. Or if you prefer to be creative at a more leisurely rate, there are lots of ways to pick up different crafts like knitting, as the abundance of creative ideas and projects grows on the internet. Whatever you’re getting up to - the artistic community relies on sharing and enjoying others ideas, and we’d be glad to see any examples of how you’re all getting creative during isolation. Just share your creative ideas on Joannes Facebook feed.
Keep maintaining creative exploration, processes, thinking during this difficult time - and best wishes from everyone here at the Joanne Wishart gallery!written by Sophie Appleton