Taking the Pledge…

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Easing out of lockdown now, and reacclimatising myself to something like normal life as the noise of the streets drowns out the birdsong again…  I know how immensely lucky I’ve been, as one of those for whom the last four months haven’t meant any real hardship – just peace and quiet and a guilty enjoyment of life being suddenly very simple and free of decisions: a bit like when snow brings everything to a halt.  I still had a few writing commissions to work on, and I even found new subjects to paint, discovering streets and buildings I’d never noticed before as I sought out new routes on my ‘daily walk’.

And I’ve been doubly lucky because of the Artist Support Pledge – the Instagram scheme started by Sussex-based artist Matthew Burrows to help artists recoup income lost through cancelled exhibitions and suspended classes.  Not sure how much the Pledge has turned over in total so far, but in my case it’s helped me find new buyers, new artists – and new art, because the idea is that you promise to buy from another artist as soon as you reach £1000 in sales.  At a time when life was reduced to essentials and so many businesses were closed down overnight, this was a way of encouraging us to keep investing in each other, and in art: perhaps not actually essential, but definitely life-enhancing.  I’m still making frames and delivering paintings I’ve sold through @artistsupportpledge – and by providing an income, it’s also allowed artists to donate to fundraising projects, giving a percentage of their sales to food banks, NHS charities and other important causes.

One of the few good things to have emerged out of Covid-19.  It would be nice to think there might be some more to come…

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