The Quick Q & A editorial in Beautiful Bizarre Magazine is a much loved regular feature, in which we ask 6 artists the same 4 questions. In the December 2021 Issue 35, these were the Quick Q & A questions:
- What’s one thing the pandemic has taught you?
- Do you think art should have a deeper meaning or value or can art just be for art’s sake?
- What response do you want to evoke in your viewers?
- What do you find is the most exciting part of the creative process?
We feel that the artists’ responses provide such a valuable insight for our community of artists that we wanted to share one Quick Q & A response from each issue with you, going forward. The December 2021 Issue 35 print issue is sold out, but you can download the digital magazine via our webstore to read more. To ensure you never miss an issue again, you can also subscribe to Beautiful Bizarre Magazine, and have each issue sent straight to your door each quarter.
Excerpt from Issue 35 // December 2021 Quick Q & A editorial: Artists Sandra Yagi, Evan Lovejoy, Ebony Russell, Laura Rubin, Horka Dolls, Gina Kalabishis respond to the below Quick Q & A:
What’s one thing the pandemic has taught you?
“It has opened my eyes to the immense magnitude of life’s uncertainties and how little control we have over the relentless flow of human history. When I was younger, I felt fortunate to be living during a calm period of history. But now, I feel like a passenger on a boat with no rudder, battered by raging rapids of epic worldwide events, heading into the unknown. I’ve read about other similar historical events like the 1918 flu pandemic, but I never dreamed I would live through a pandemic so widespread that everyone on the planet would be affected one way or another. It’s a sobering thought to realize that we are at a critical juncture of human history, due to climate change, political turmoil and COVID-19.”
“That we are all bound together on this spaceship. There are endless lessons from the last couple of years and endless angles from which to look at it. Every time I try to reflect on this collective trauma, I always come back to how interwoven we all are with every other being on the planet and its ecosystems. Our increasing individualism and the rampant destruction of the environment (among many, many other factors) is all creating a reality that’s fomenting conditions more likely to produce global catastrophes, including pandemics. The increased feeling of community and a deeper understanding of our connection with the natural world, which seems to have followed the pandemic, gives me hope that we may find a safe path through the mire.”
“To let go of the things I can’t control, to slow down and count my blessings, and to simply carry on. Everything passes. During the first wave, I had to think fast and find a way to continue working while homeschooling my daughters. I created a home studio in my laundry room, and bought a small kiln that could fit in my outhouse. This made it possible for me to keep creating work and exhibiting. Staying positive and finding solutions to overcome the obstacles taught me that I am a resilient person. Now, in the second year of the pandemic, my home studio has saved me again. I’m able to care for my daughters and keep working while in lockdown.”
“A month after the first lockdown, I found myself in a surprising situation. Unlike most of my friends and family, I felt comfortable and not at all lonely or bored. Elaborately planned events were cancelled one after the other and important meetings were postponed and postponed again, only to be cancelled in the end. All the noise outside on the street stopped and I realised how quiet the world can be. Were all these events really necessary and the meetings really so important? After years, I finally had some time for myself, and I realised that I should evaluate the relevance of some of my projects more strictly, in order to have more time for the really important things.”
“Do not lick your fingers before unsticking the sides of a plastic bag in a supermarket! I live off the beaten track, between fields stretching far to the horizon. I see wild animals more often than people, but still, unfortunately, I caught COVID-19 while grocery shopping in a nearby town and had a serious illness. During this time, I learned how to make my own compost and prune fruit trees, and planted new plants in various parts of my garden. The forced lack of contact with friends and the absence of human faces around me resulted in a series of ‘animal’ dolls. The biggest misfortune was the inability to ship the dolls around the world via air mail, and some buyers have waited for theirs for over six months!”
“The pandemic made me come to a standstill. I had to veer into an unknown path and it taught me to adapt, to produce within adversity and plan with fresh imagination. The pandemic illuminated my fear of uncertainty and the exhaustion it would bring. It taught me to tackle a hopeless situation and change it into an opportunity for my practice to be more visionary and purposeful. Time suddenly became the most precious commodity. This shared experience taught many of us to embrace the opportunity to create, amplify empathy, generate positivity, and hopefully work toward creating a new “Belle Epoque”.”