Artists surviving a year of lockdown
Museums, art galleries and theatres are just a few venues that have been closed for almost a year. Lockdown has affected artists across both visual and performative arts in different ways, with many struggling to reach a wider audience while surviving financially.
Charlie Mills, curator at Collective Ending, a London based studio and gallery complex supporting emerging artists, explains their work and how it was affected by lockdown: “Every year we do an annual work of the resident artists, so we did that for about ten days and then went into lockdown. It was still a brilliant exercise to be able to do, we could double our digital promotions to make sure that even if people weren’t able to get here physically, the reach of the exhibition was still as far as possible“.
Artist and curator at Collective Ending, Billy Fraser, talks about how they still managed to get through the crisis: “We fortunately received a large sum of funding from the mayor of London so we managed to survive last year“.
He adds that they planned on a very “ambitious” gallery program but that was stripped to just the essentials and one big opening exhibition entitled ‘A Land of Incomparable Beauty‘.
For others, such as Will V, an independent American singer with almost 15 thousand monthly listeners on Spotify, lockdown was an opportunity to grow an audience despite conditions making it tough for creativity to flourish: “The lockdown had an impact on my creativity, a lot of my music comes from personal experiences so staying at home made it harder to get those and have things to write about“.
Nevertheless, Will managed to experience a huge growth in listeners right as he started producing his music all by himself: “It’s really amazing, I have been making music for almost a year now and its grown a lot, my songs are doing well and that’s amazing“.
With exhibitions disrupted and concerts postponed, it is hoped that with more testing and more vaccination jabs being delivered, art can finally start to blossom just in time for the warmer seasons.
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