NewslettersDecember 7th, 2021

PG #96: Resilience and the arts

A photo of 10 artists who participated in the Arts Infinity Labs

You could say the role of the arts is to help us identify with one another, and to imagine that which is not always visible. To bring about new ideas and ways of being and doing together. Art is at the essence of who we are and how we understand the world.

Many sectors have been slammed by Covid-19, but some more than others. The arts sector has been devastated.

I was reminded of this recently when I spoke with an old friend of mine, an extraordinarily talented ceramicist. Her work is remarkable, and yet she is considering giving it up. She hates having to market herself, and has really struggled with reaching her audiences through the pandemic.

As a trained artist myself, I have watched some of my artist friends succeed and others let their practice go. Success in the current landscape seems to require a cyclical practice, where telling compelling stories of ‘self’ and ‘process’ becomes perhaps as important as the work itself. When we get a glimpse of the human who is behind the work, the story of why, and how, it is a window to understanding and connection that goes far beyond the produced work.

Stories are how we understand the world, and with understanding comes the desire to connect. That connection can take the form of purchasing a piece of art or a ticket to a show, which is vital to sustaining the ongoing work of artists. This sort of connection support has been much less available through the lockdowns.

Lately, I’ve had the pleasure of being part of the Paper Giant team developing a new program that builds creative resilience. We teamed up with Arts ACT to form the Arts Infinity Lab. The lab helps artists and arts workers experiment, explore and engage with existing and new audiences, and expand their practice.

Imagine if all artists had access to such a creative lab. We’re on a mission to find more creative partners to keep developing this lab model with, and bring it to more artists and arts workers, so that we can continue to encourage and celebrate the value of the arts.

I’m curious to hear if you, or someone else you know might have some thoughts about this:

  • How has art impacted your life in new ways this last year?
  • If you’re an arts worker – do you have ideas on how we might invite more people into similar creative labs, to expand their practices and the value of the arts?
  • If you’re an artist – what’s been hardest for you and your practice?

Email me, I’d love to chat.

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