Escape into Abandonment
by Mark Lippett
There has been a lot of talk amongst the creative community about how people have been spending their time during the pandemic. Some artists have been very productive whilst others have found it difficult to focus on a routine. Understandably people have been affected in different ways, which has impacted on their mood.
I have personally found my art to be a way of escaping from the drama of current events whilst simultaneously looking at themes that are very real and on going.
My work studies impermanence and change. It is all around us but is not often discussed, perhaps because it is a reminder of our own temporary existence. People often resist change and want things to stay the same, which just causes unhappiness. The study of dereliction is one way of looking at this impermanence.
The escapism part comes because although the subject matter references human activity, there are no people present. At the moment social media is full of people expressing anger, frustration and sadness about the pandemic or the injustice of the world, which is completely understandable. However I have found the general negativity, often fuelled by fear, to be overwhelming and have responded by retreating into a much quieter space. I wasn’t denying reality but needed a space to recover and rest.
One of the attractions of abandonment as a subject is that is very quiet and still. It’s a time for reflection or just contemplation of the natural world as it takes over the spaces we once used. No raised voices, no drama… just quietness. I have needed this space over the last few months to cope with what is going on. It has helped keep me balanced so that I can be there for other people when they needed support.
There’s nothing wrong with making art about current affairs and many people do it well but I find dealing with impermanency to be more satisfying and fascinating. Ironically it is a subject that will continue to be relevant to future generations and will never go away!