The COVID-19 crisis has influenced many aspects of our normal daily lives and introduced us to the concept of “social distancing”. Living in unwanted and enforced self-isolation has created many struggles and one of them is finding inspiration. But one thing for sure, a vast shift in perspective such as this provides a fertile ground for creative experimentation and discoveries. Artists in our community are thriving in it, something which is in their work.
Looking for inspiration? Following their virtual exhibition INTER/INTRA HUMAN, The Factory Berlin Artists Circle has provided some wonderful insights and ideas for creative escapism.
Ana Brinnand: “I think I try to find new ways of doing things. As a Graphic designer I am used to work creating and editing with the computer (Ctrl+Z is always an easy way out of trouble), but when experimenting with analog surfaces we can’t avoid mistakes making it a perfect way for me to get inspired by drawing, painting and trying new techniques. Experiencing new textures and tools activates our senses and allows us to reconnect with our real feelings and natural spirit. These experiments enabled me to get out of the box and find new ways of doing things, making my creativity grow.”
Ashley Middleton: “The fundamental sensation of being an artist is the feeling of isolation. It sinks you into this lonely mind-space where creativity becomes the helping hand that lifts you out. The culture that gives art its momentum simultaneously drives you to, and lifts you out of this darkness.
New virtual systems are developing new social structures, and could potentially counteract this emotional drive towards isolation. This collective energy motivates new ways of thinking about self and others, which I find highly exciting.”
Aurora Mititelu: “It is somewhat an overstatement to say that we are isolated, when we are probably facing the most connected isolation humanity has ever experienced. It’s perhaps clearer today how virtually connected and physically isolated we’re becoming.
We are part of this global system of concepts and ideas we all contribute to, and draw inspiration from. There is a great amount of content we consume that comes through digital media directly into our homes, into our minds. And what stands out during these times is how scarce the digital environment still is, in how it fails to address all our senses. As I work with physical installations and live events, it became more evident to me – you just can’t replicate the richness of that sort of experience inside a digital environment. Or at least not yet.”
Cherie Birkner: “When you give your attention to just one thing you might discover an entire world around it. On some days I will observe how the light comes in and hits the wall. I will notice at what time it happens, from where it comes, how long it stays, how fast it moves. If I keep thinking about it I will notice how much I love it and wish it was there all day. When it comes I am excited and grab a camera to capture it. I wonder if I would do the same if it was there all day.
On other days I might think about pasta, or write about the experience of wearing on red lipstick and drawing a mole on my face. Anything can be your inspiration when you give it your full attention.”
David Pettersson: “A good way to keep oneself creative, in isolation or not, is to keep your eyes open for everything and anything that tickles the imagination. I find myself watching documentaries about deep space, nanorobots, reading science fiction, and creating physical objects with my hands (cooking is an excellent source of inspiration). These opportunities connect with each other and form a network of ideas from which I can simply choose. Often, there are not enough hours in the day to generate everything I have in my head, so I keep on piling on projects. Never stay on one lonely project, but spread your antennas and let the multiplicity of themes and topics mutate those stubborn blank pages.”
Diane Drubay: “Isolation has always been the main condition for my ideas to turn into fertile creative ground. I’ve traveled alone to isolated places for years to capture everything that I encounter and process it once back home. Just before the current situation we all live in, I isolated myself for 3 weeks in an artist residency in the middle of a Fjord in East Iceland. There, I lived days of solitude and fostered a deep bond with Nature and Iceland’s endless landscapes. Isolation is a rich pathway to creativity when your mind is full of pictures and wonders. Diving into my dense production of photography and videos has been like an open door to Nature and grandeur. And when this is not enough, I always have a selection of books from the 70s or the 80s of unknown authors of anticipation science-fiction.”
Eric Maltz: “A great way to find inspiration is to read a book. If you don’t enjoy reading you can pick up an art book and get inspired this way. If you don’t have any books around you could go online and look at websites that you find inspiring. Hmm, you don’t have the internet? Ok. You can get a pen and a piece of paper and write your own book. Or, draw your own pictures and look at them when you’re done. If that doesn’t work, you can walk over to your window and look outside. See? There’s the moon. Very inspiring. If that doesn’t work you can pick up the phone and call a friend. You never know where a conversation might lead. Or, best of all, you can listen to some music. One of the best ways to become inspired.”
Jill Bettendorff: “This time of isolation was a great opportunity to finally take the time to look inwards.
My goal was to face my inner demons, getting rid of negative thought patterns that no longer serve me. Introspect helped me reevaluate my life on a professional & personal level. Looking at how I could improve and how I can grow. I realised my inspiration mostly lied within myself. “
Sofia Dimitrova: “Even when the body is isolated, the imagination remains wandering. I find the creative process itself inspiring, as it keeps me in the present moment, keeps me grounded. Also, I’ve always been fascinated by the materials I’m using; the natural light; the textures of the paper, the chemical reaction between the salt, the water, and the ink. Other than the process, I draw inspiration from past experiences, books, movies, body language, nature, and even sometimes from my dreams. Overall being focused and doing what I love helps me with my anxiety, to find a purpose, and keep moving forward.”
On 20th of May, artists, curators and visitors met online for a unique live-event, redesigning the way we collectively exist in isolation and providing fertile ground for creative transformations.
Celebrating the multiplicity of disciplines and mediums present in the Artists Circle, the collective exhibition ‘INTER/INTRA HUMAN’ showcases online the artworks of 10 international artists mixing music, interactive media, video art, photography, drawing, experiential installation, digital sculpture, and more.