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Keeping Creative in Quarantine

Updated: Mar 30, 2020

In only a month since my latest blog post, I would never have expected so much to change, and quite so dramatically. Here we are, the whole world, in the middle of a pandemic. Everyone has been affected but I would like to write about my personal story and how I am keeping creative in quarantine.

Approaching my final 2 months of 4 years at Gray's School of Art and I am now making 75% of my final degree in a flat living room.

So welcome to Gray's Living Room of Art:

I was lucky enough to have help moving all my stuff from my studio space at Gray's to the flat. Although it was really emotional moving, I have settled in very well and I am fortunate enough to be able to continue to work as I normally did.

The key to working effectively for me is to have a routine, so maintaing this despite the new circumstances was really important. I have established a fairly similar routine as before but I now have more time to slow down and really focus on what work I am making. Slowing down for me is difficult so this has brought a new but rewarding challenge.

I made a list and sketches of pieces I would like to produce, with the idea of a final exhibition still in mind. Although there is not going to be a Degree Show (which is the ultimate exhibition for 4th Year Art students), I know it is important to still consider how my drawings and paintings collate for a show.

Endurance, repetition and isolation are an important part of my practice, which seems all the more relevant in these times. I record every hour, minute and second of drawing and painting that I do, by keeping a continuous sketchbook of these times per piece. I am intrigued to see how these hours mount up during quarantine.

My first outcome in my new space is a lifesize drawing of a Millstone from Colinton and I am really pleased with how it has turned out. I have also made a stretcher and prepared it for a painting. Stretchers were something I was initally worried about being able to continue to make but it is easy to order and assemble stretcher bars from Cass Art which only require wood glue and strength to put together.

Overall, I am quite happy in my new space and look forward to seeing what else I will end up making. I miss those around me in the studio at Gray's but there are a lot of online platforms which are really supporting artists and designers, especially the final year art students across the country. I am also really grateful for the continued and additional support my university, art school and tutors are giving us.

My next blog will be in a months time- until then, keep being creative!

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