CHRITCH: Creativity in a Time of Crisis
Updated: Apr 17, 2020
How this pandemic affected you and your creative output? How are you adapting to the new realities?
My artistic practice evolves around the notions of Time, Memory and Vanishment. I explore the ephemeral dimensions of the human experience, gathering and reordering fragments of thoughts, emotions and intuitions, with the objective to preserve, revive and anchor them into the contemporary. This might seem bizarre but in the current situation I chose to confine myself in an apartment with my loved ones instead of going to the studio, where I could have comfortably continued my daily routine. My choice brought me to a drastic change, a smaller, busier, domestic space where only some paper and coloured pencils were available to continue creating. As a result, I produced 8 small size drawings (11x11cm), mainly with cool earthy delicate colours (blue, green, grey, etc..). I titled them ‘’Back to Essentials’’, intuitively searching for humbleness and serenity on earth through this experience.
Please share any insights you have learned from this ‘’lockdown/self-isolation’’? Also, is there a special role you feel artists can play in response to the pandemic?
It’s obvious that over the past few weeks, the physical art world’s shut down has drastically impacted artists and the arts community, despite worldwide efforts to stay connected through digital tools and platforms. In these unfamiliar, anxiety-ridden and challenging times, artists help each other and continue to play a special role in their communities. Their desire to respond positively in supporting solidarity funds is automatic, but often remains insufficient if not further supported by public or private funding.
How do you think this will affect artists, the art world and how people interact with art? How do you feel this crisis might reshape our societies in general?
Having lived in different countries, I believe people interact with art with a lot of respect and interest. What attracted my attention most in France was how the internet played a major role in this crisis by helping people connect worldwide to share their experiences or knowledge. The minute the shutdown/self-isolation was announced, artists and all art communities (artists, museums, galleries, theatres, concerts, etc..) instantly found online solutions to continue their informative cultural duty towards society. I believe this crisis reinforced solidarity and highlighted the humble place of humanity on earth. I believe ART and creativity remain vital for the soul, and I hope this crisis will reinvigorate global awareness.
Confucius says, ‘’Think of tomorrow, the past can’t be mended.’’
CHRITCH was born in Cairo (Egypt) in 1961, and currently lives and works in Paris, France, after years spent in Canada and in the United Arab Emirates. Graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Cairo in 1984, she has participated in many group and solo exhibitions in Egypt, France, The Netherlands, Belgium, Lebanon, Canada, as well as in New York, Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Her works are housed in public and private collections throughout the Middle East, Europe and North America.