Lockdown is difficult. No doubt about it.
For artist and researchers alike it is not easy to focus on intellectual or artistic work. If one is a practice-based researcher, as many PGR members are, our practice has to be undertaken at home rather than in the studio or Art school facilities. Our reading and writing are interrupted, diverted or dominated by the tragic reality we are experiencing.
What to do? In order to keep making I have worked digitally, seeking material opportunities to output physical marks and images. To keep writing I have made a weekly reflective blog: LOCKDOWN. It is simply a structure that allows me to collate the week’s important events, chance occurrences, new possibilities, shared experiences and personal moments that have made the LOCKDOWN week memorable.
The structure has a positive effect on my ability to keep my research in perspective while being moderately creative in Lockdown. Looking forward it will provide a legacy of my experience and interpretation of Lockdown that may provide personal and perhaps more widely relevant documentation of how a post graduate researcher has dealt with the dismay of a local and global situation, unexpected in our lifetime.
I have more avidly followed other weekly bloggers that reflect on their research practice and collate relevant reflections. Helen Kara known to many of us through her books and her ‘Shut Up and Write’ aids to unblock writing, writes on her methodologies. Pat Thompson from Nottingham University writes extremely apt and meaningful reflections on the psychological effects on researchers during isolation. Rahim Hirji’ Box of Amazing comments and collates Covid relevant tech, media and developments.
I have had some positive feedback to my blog and share the link below. I make no claim to intellectual progression, but only to keep in mind that LOCKDOWN will end sometime, somehow and reflecting may be valuable to go forward, come the day. It will be a personal legacy of this time and may offer further reflection and consideration post lockdown. That may be a time to better understand what it has meant to live through the global trauma, that is the closest some of us have come to an experience of world wars that many went through to protect social and cultural values.
If fellow researchers wish to capture their own ‘Lockdown weeks’ I am sure they can be published on the PGR site. You can also publish on the Material Encounters Cluster site. My lockdown blog can be accessed here.
Take Care. Stay Safe.