While what we are living through endlessly confounds us all, I would like to offer you a little distraction. Here is what I’ve been doing while noodling about at home.
Strangely, even though I love making, at the moment my brain is a tad too scattered to sustain the attention that my painting practice requires.
It’s hard come up with interesting ideas when art feels like the last thing we are collectively focussing on at the moment. Instead I’m drawn to creative tasks that feel achievable in small pockets of time and are both rewarding and light-hearted.
Between checking the news, wondering if the government has processed my Centrelink claim yet and conjuring up what to cook, I have been feeling calm through repetitive activities like gardening, sewing or drawing as well as trying my hand at ceramics with some (very flaky) air drying clay. These tasks are ideal because you can throw down your tools halfway through that over enthusiastically initiated project without a complicated pack up.
It’s also really important to remember, you DO NOT have to identify as an ‘Artist’ to make art and be creative. You also don’t have to ever show anyone or post the outcomes of your creative ventures on social media if you don’t want to. Make stuff because you are bored. Make stuff because you are curious. Make stuff because it feels good.
I have recently unearthed my eternal box of clothes that are too spicy to get rid of but just don’t hit the spot anymore.
Some of the 30-minute increments of my isolation attention span have been devoted to scribbling, drawing, spray painting, cutting and sewing those old items into wacky new creations. I’ve been inspired by the likes of Niamh Galea, Claire Barrow and the Diaspora range.
Whether or not my collaged garments see the light of the post-COVID-19 world is beyond the point, there is a catharsis that comes from re-working (upcycling lol) old things. It’s just a bonus that in doing so you’re avoiding buying new stuff, participating in the fast fashion industry or spending your dosh.
During this tumultuous time, I’ve been checking in (virtually) to see what my go-to local businesses are doing and how I can still support them (e.g. new online stores, takeaway menus and delivery options).
It’s important to not resort to giving more money to big companies now access to the small businesses is limited. Consider buying your veggies, clothes, records, takeaway meals and supplies locally to support your community. SWOP is doing daily Instagram sales via their stories and even if you don’t have the funds to buy them it’s stunning to see some the super styling the team has conjured up.