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Art after lockdown

Lets keep this short and sweet, the lockdown has been eased but some cities and districts still face restrictions. Some hospitality and arts venues have began to reopen, but the world as we knew it has changed. With many being cooped up for five to six months, everyone has had different circumstances or experiences. Some have picked up a skill or side hustle, others have turned to mental mush by binging on box sets, some have read through every single book on the shelf or ordered fifteen more to read through before or if they return to work. The feeling of uncertainty and unknown continues….

The arts & creative sectors along with many others has been decimated by the pandemic, so as soon as these places reopened I wanted to get back out there and show my support. The first stop for us was the Tate Modern to see the Andy Warhol exhibition, from the outset the atmosphere has changed, gone are the days of leisure. Walking in and paying to get into an exhibition are over for the foreseeable future, with paid time slots only. Of course masks are mandatory, only with these can you enter, upon walking into the Turbine Hall you immediately feel how different it is, being pretty much empty, along with the stairs the escalators, shops and restaurants.

The eerie atmosphere continues into the actual exhibition, the feeling of freedom and moving from piece to piece is no longer there, it is as if people are robots queuing up to go around the gallery in order to look at artworks. Conforming, the total opposite to what creativity and art is about, yes we are doing this as the guidelines are in place, but it has completely removed both the atmosphere and the sense of escapism you have when exploring, paintings, sculptures and photography. To me the final piece to the exhibition is the people who attend, an array of individuals of different ages and cultures, from the students to the tourists, from the children blown away by what they see or hear to the older generation who have just as much historical wealth and knowledge when it comes to art as the galleries themselves. All of this charisma, individuality and colour is hidden behind a pale blue mask…

If this is a glimpse into galleries we ask what of our theatres? When and if they ever reopen. I have nothing more to say we will just have to wait and see.


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