Art During Times of Crisis
The world is usually in a frenzied state. The things that humans run after is endless. Caught up in this mayhem, we do not realize that art is everywhere. That art has always been a part and parcel of our lives. We fail to find time for things we enjoy the most. The child in us that likes to create is buried in an inaccessible place. It is not only adults, but also children who are subjected to this cold, monotonous routine. Not all children are encouraged to indulge in art. They are often pushed to focus only in their academics, to get that ideal job that can pay bills.
The pandemic made everything topsy turvy. The mad rush came to a stop and people had plenty of time in their hands. It is an undeniable truth that the pandemic was a dark time. But it was also a period of renaissance, a time of rebirth, for the realm of art. Things moved at a slower pace, making us realise the importance of art and the huge role that art plays in our everyday lives.
With panic and paranoia setting in people turned to art as a remedy. It helped us to be grateful for being alive and appreciate everything around us. The inner child that enjoyed art was awakened. People used the time that they had to learn new things. They experimented with different art forms and mediums. Artists who had just used pencils and water colors earlier began to experiment with oil paints, acrylics, gouache etc. They also learnt that using the right medium for their art work, like square sketchbooks for mandala, water color sketchbooks for drawing with water colors, poster colors and acrylics, canvas for oil paints et al. can enhance it to a great extent. People stopped being mere recreates and turned into creators. Instead of just recreating pictures found on Pinterest, Tumblr and the likes, they took time observe the world around them and portrayed it in a new light. Though we were locked up in our homes, they kept our spirits and the world alive by painting it.
Lot of art and artists evolved during this time, leading to a boom in the industry of art. It was so pre dominant that paper was added to the list of essential things that could be sold and there was a surge in the online sale of stationaries, sketchbooks and note books. It also led to many new inventions. For instance, Menorah launched its Square Mixed media sketchbook, Unicorn notebook and 300 gsm case bound sketchbooks. Artists also wanted to preserve their art for a long time and Menorah facilitates it by providing archival papers in all their notebooks and sketchbook , that can last up to hundred years.
People discovered that art was not just for leisure. Art was used as a therapy to cope with difficult times and keep their minds of the darkness. Amidst times of despair and dejection, it was art that served as a form of an antidote.
Art was a means to create awareness. It united people in their struggles. We have seen several visually striking art work during the pandemic that created awareness about the need to wear masks and social distancing. It depicted the struggles of doctors and essential workers as heroes without capes. It also offered us hope and resilience to survive showing how people reach out to one another in times of need. It was realized that art had the potential to be anything and everything.
Though the world stood still for a while, art continued to flourish because after all, art is life and life is art.