Next week is Refugee Week and the theme is “Imagine”. Members of New Art Studio know too well the power and need for imagination during times of adversity. Art making often returns to imagination as a resource and a rescue from current reality. We kept our group connected through the sharing of pictures so, even in the absence of a physical reality, imagination kept the members sane and connected to each other.
Our good news is that, from Monday 8th of June, we resumed meeting in person at Islington Arts Factory. As a vulnerable group, we were given priority to access the building. We now keep the tables apart, people sit separately, members ware masks and use hand sanitizers.
The life of the studio has always been one of coping with and conquering adversity. There have been previous times when we had no physical studio space and would have our weekly meetings in the park. This lockdown has only served to cement our connections and confirmed our ideals that art can be made anywhere under any circumstance. We have always celebrated the divine power of imagination and creativity, and our months apart haven’t dampened our spirits: in fact the separation has made us stronger.
Our reunion on Monday felt as if no time had passed. The need to be communal and creative was very present. Members adjusted to the new structures and government guidelines and concentrated on the process of making pictures. Everyone was elated to see each other “for real” and to make art together. We simply picked up where we left off, brush in hand and canvas at the ready!