Brits are ‘completely unaware’ artistic community’s struggle during pandemic

Four in 10 Brits are "completely unaware" of just how hard-hit the artistic community has been during the worldwide shutdown, according to research.

A poll of 2,000 adults found 41% now feel compelled to do their bit to help the arts thrive following the damage of the global pandemic.

Over the last year, nearly seven in 10 adults said diving into an artistic diversion has helped them cope during a difficult year.

One in four have watched more TV programmes about art since the pandemic began, and 16% have taken time to research artists they like.

Unable to leave their homes or meet friends, many turned to creative activities for the first time during the pandemic.

According to the research, more than half of adults polled (56%) are also more likely to buy art as a result of their newfound creative interests.

The research was commissioned for Monday’s launch of Art Without Walls, a project from CAMPARI, that has repurposed space across London that would normally house adverts to instead exhibit 500 original works of art.

Will Ramsay, founder of the Affordable Art Fair, who curated the vast outdoor gallery in the heart of the capital, said: “My mission has always been to democratise the art world and make it accessible to all – and the research shows there is certainly an appetite for more available arts across the UK.

"Working with CAMPARI to bring art into the outdoors and showcase the inspiring work of artists we have on our doorstep is a perfect example of this.

"Whether you’re interested in photography, fine art, or graphic design, this gallery has something for you to enjoy, digest, and take inspiration from.

"All the limited edition, original artwork in this outdoor gallery will be available to purchase, making up for the many months of gallery closures.

"We hope that visitors will bring these sources of inspiration into their own homes – all while helping those in the industry look forward and move on from an earth-shattering year.”

The research also found photography (48%), drawing (45%) and painting (39%) were the most common artistic pursuits to start.

And nearly two thirds (64%) are hoping to keep up their artistic hobby once lockdown restrictions are fully lifted.

Nick Williamson, from Campari Group UK, said: “As a brand inherently connected to the arts industry, we wanted to use our platform to support artists and independent galleries in the UK.

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“We hope that the level of exposure created by Art Without Walls will help inspire everyone who sees it, as well as create sales and provide much needed support to all these talented artists who have been impacted by the pandemic over the past year.”

All of the artwork featured is available to buy via a QR link on each piece, with 100 per cent of the proceeds going to the art industry.

By combining digital screens, posters and projections in high footfall locations, the gallery will generate the same amount of exposure per artwork as if it were hanging in the Tate Modern – the UK’s most popular cultural destination – for a week.

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