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  • Writer's pictureWendy Mckay

Arts in a pandemic. What does that look like?

Updated: Dec 10, 2020

The whole world has changed overnight. "The pandemic has forced everyone into a state of introspection due to isolating, whether welcomed or not. As an artist, it's not the worst place to be because that happens automatically when I create work", Gary Taxali shares of his experience during the global crisis of 2020.

This atypical dystopian time has sadly been marked by a sharp increase in reported anxiety and depression by those around us. Our shared experience can be captured by works of art such as the painting below; portraying the face of hopelessness that many are experiencing at the downturn of the economy, loss of physical connection, and suffering due to illness and death. Art is used as a poignant language more then ever now as people wish to define ones own participation and story of living thorough a pandemic such as COVID-19. Creating works of art not only gives voice to the individual but importantly to the shared community and common encounters relating to the societal/political landscape, cultural changes, and economic milieu. Similarly painters, during the 1918 Spanish flu and plagues during the medieval ages, would use creative license to shed light on despairing times.

Yet amidst this calamity, there is a certain anticipation in the air that is palpable to the bystander. A 'turning of the corner' as we see the symbolism slowly transform from darkness to light, from an empty space to an occupied one, and from the shape of COVID into the shape of a dove. Inspired works of art conveying co-living arrangements, daily commutes, and community-led food drives are just a few images our artist friends bring us as we watch and wait looking out our windows for a better tomorrow.

Artist: Leslie Swanson

Artist: Kashmira Sarode

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