This week there would normally be hundreds of events happening all over the country for people to attend and experience the benefit of the arts on their wellbeing. Despite the restrictions of COVID, remote events and ideas have sprung up everywhere. Many of these can be found on the ‘Creativity and Wellbeing Week’ website under the theme Positive Futures. Do take a look.
Are you using the arts to help maintain your health and wellbeing?
Engaging with the arts enables you to become immersed in a different world, escaping from the stress and distractions of your real world. This state is called ‘flow’ and has been shown to improve both mental and physical health.
It’s easy to feel pressured by what everyone else is doing during lockdown and feel overwhelmed by the many amazing arts projects and suggestions for how you might spend your time. You don’t need to be actively creating something to benefit from the arts, you could just be sitting quietly reading a book, staring at a picture or watching a TV programme that offers an alternative perspective of the world.
I’ve enjoyed watching ‘Grayson’s Art Club’ on Channel 4. I find the combination of his inspiring art, calm reflections on life and inquisitive interview style soothing, like an Alka Seltzer on a troubled stomach.
The programme shows how great art can be inspired by the spaces we live in and the people around us.
This week’s task was to look out of your window and create an image of what you see.
What would you draw or write about?
You don’t need expensive materials to create interesting art. A pen and an old envelope would work. David Hockney uses his iphone and this is what he created.
Don’t forget the arts can also help you to make sense of the loss and change we are all experiencing.
Why not join in with next week’s task? The theme of #C4ArtClub is, Britain: how do you feel about the UK under lockdown?
This piece of sculpture was created by Anthony Gormley. He made this piece of work to reflect the state that we are all in- a self-contained body, looking at itself, at the resource that it has within itself. In a quote to the BBC he said, he wanted to "provoke people to ask the questions: What do we care about? What do we value? What do we love?"
Every morning when I get up, I look out of my window, but I also look at this picture by Tin Myint Mg, a Burmese artist. The artist explained that the picture is an allegory for the stages children progress through as they grow and learn, the red steps represent the challenges children face in learning about the world, the green the knowledge and skills they learn, and the yellow when they reach a stage where they feel free to be themselves.
Everyday this sends me a powerful message that I should feel free to be me.
What might you do now?