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David Hockney, Olafur Eliasson, and more share hopeful messages and artwork

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Ai Weiwei and Wolfgang Tillmans are also among the artists spreading positivity and advice during the coronavirus pandemic

Just as it’s closed down music festivals and fashion shows, coronavirus has caused widespread disruption in the art world, with galleries facing the consequences of closing their doors (though, if you need to get your art fix, there are plenty of digital exhibitions you don’t need to leave the house for).

In the midst of the pandemic, however, several artists have taken to social media to share messages of hope and solidarity, and – in some cases – new artwork.

Take David Hockney, for example, whose new iPad drawing of daffodils – upliftingly titled “Do remember they can’t cancel the spring” – has been shared through Denmark’s Louisiana Museum of Modern Art. 

The artwork, the gallery reports, was “sent from his current complete lockdown in Normandy”.

Olafur Eliasson, meanwhile, has commented on the use of technology to maintain intimacy during nationwide lockdowns to avoid spreading the virus. 

In the caption to an Instagram post featuring the work of various artists such as Marina Abromovic and Ulay, and René Magritte, he writes: “In this time of social distancing and isolation, how can we find new ways of being together – or, to use sociologist Sherry Turkle’s words, new ways of being ‘alone together’?”

“When Turkle wrote ‘we expect more from technology and less from each other’, she was talking about living in an age where technology reconfigures and limits our spaces of intimacy. For many of us right now, technology is our single source of intimacy – we expect more from technology so we may have more of each other.”

Another recent post from Eliasson contains a timely quote from the writer Rebecca Solnit: “Hope locates itself in the premise that we don’t know what will happen, and in the spaciousness of uncertainty there is room to act.”

Ai Weiwei has also shared positive messages on his Instagram, partly in the form of footage showing “the last day of Wuhan Fang Cang hospital”. Chinese hospital staff have recently celebrated the closure of their last temporary coronavirus hospital, due to a steep decline in new cases.

Of course, other artists have chosen to share more directly helpful advice to deal with the pandemic, including Wolfgang Tillmans, whose new “mantra” reminds people to keep their distance from one another in a mutual act of protection.

Still looking for more positivity while you’re stuck at home as the virus carries on sweeping the globe? Try reading advice Dazed gathered from more artists, photographers, and creatives, on how they’re dealing with the crisis and what others can do to help them.





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Thom Waite, Khareem Sudlow