Abirpothi

India’s only daily art newspaper

Art, the pandemic’s survival toolkit – Final Part

The pandemic and the lockdown brought about a collective consciousness that art is what truly makes life purposeful, the Abir Pothi team writes.

Now that we have probably braved the worst of the pandemic, what wisdom do we really glean from it? One important but often forgotten fact is that people need time by themselves to do they really like with a certain degree of expertise.

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The lockdown also resulted in social media becoming a massive global exhibition of skills, craft and art. From cup cakes to portraits, people got back to doing what they love doing but did not have the time for earlier. Isolation forces us to rethink what we truly are and what truly makes life meaningful. Just raking up your bank balance cannot always bring you inner succour, although that is an important part of life.

The lockdown revealed to the world that an accountant is also an artist, that a manager is also musician and that a doctor is also a dancer. The silver lining of the lockdown clearly was the grand collective reconnection with the inner individual. The lockdown resulted in great amateur art, some of it were so accomplished that one wondered why the person did not choose art as a profession.

The lockdown also showed many of us the value of practice. There are both happy as well as not-so-happy stories. For instance, people who had given up their art to pursue a profession, when forced into isolation wished to return to what they actually loved. To their dismay, they found that art is demanding mistress. Without practice, talent can only do some much. Sweet singers sounded pitchy after 20 years of not singing. But that very same extended isolation also gave the singers a chance to get back to their art regularly, and they saw themselves getting better. That in turn renewed their hope that it is never too late to start again. By doing what gives them the greatest joy, by doing it again and again. Iteration is a virtue in any creative process.

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As for the professional artist, they had a lot more time to meditate upon their art and process. Quite a lot of great art comes from a time where nothing really happens. Leisure and elbow room to think is a great well of creativity. They did not have to be unnecessarily be productive because of market pressures. The whole aspect of having time to reassess what one does results in a certain spiritualisation of the creative practice.

In conclusion, conflict breeds a bigger thinking mind. A mind that seeks to understand what it is going through and how to resolve the crisis at hand into a comprehensive whole, makes art a larger human experience.

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