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  • Writer's pictureAndy Bell


Updated: Mar 27, 2020

Instead of worrying about what you cannot control, shift your energy to what you can create.” Roy T. Bennett

“All that is gold does not glitter,

Not all those who wander are lost;

The old that is strong does not wither,

Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

From the ashes a fire shall be woken,

A light from the shadows shall spring;

Renewed shall be blade that was broken,

The crownless again shall be king.”

J.R.R. Tolkien

Everything is Going To Be Alright, Martin Creed 1999

Visual Art and Current Affairs

The Senior Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at National Galleries of Scotland, Alice Strang, regularly finds connections between current affairs and works in their collection.

These are shared via their social media pages and in the latest post added on The National Galleries Scotland website she has recently matched some pieces of work to the Covid-19 pandemic. It's interesting to see how different situations and current issues can give new meanings and encourage you see things in a new light.

As the Coronavirus situation continues to unfold, the benefits of visual art become more and more apparent. Not only to address and help to accept current affairs, but to provide comfort and inspiration to all, whilst celebrating the nation’s collection of art.

The early advice to wash our hands gave Edith Rimmington’s The Decoy of 1948 new meaning (tweeted on 2 March 2020).

Her painting of a hand in which the metamorphosis from chrysalis to butterfly plays out, combines the beauty of nature with a sense of menace. The importance of this simple act of hygiene and the consequences if we fail to carry it out seem to be summed up before our eyes. Warnings since issued not to shake hands have made this image all the more poignant.

As an increasing number of people are having to work remotely, Jozef Sekalski’s Papers on a Table of 1963 seems apt.

Could any of us match the cheerful mass of papers and ink bottle in this colour linocut at our kitchen table or bedroom desk?

Little did Sekalski know almost sixty years ago how his image would one day be interpreted.

More matched images can be seen on the National Galleries of Scotland website and a lot of the works in their collection can be viewed and enjoyed in a digital gallery.

Thoughts about ageing -

“We don’t grow older, we grow riper.” ~Pablo Picasso

A recent survey, involving 2,000 adults over the age of 50, was carried out in the UK by the HSL company to find out how people really felt about ageing.

The main aim was to discover what people liked most about ageing - the benefits we all have to look forward to. The respondents were given a set of questions and a list of aspects of ageing to choose from.

The findings - Overall, 25% of respondents felt very positively about ageing.

Nearly half of the women (47%) either agreed, or somewhat agreed, that their self-confidence has grown with age. 41% also felt their sense of fulfillment has increased, too.

Meanwhile, 43% of men also believed their self-confidence had increased, and 40% believed their sense of fulfillment has developed, too.

The East Midlands is one of the top 5 regions that feel positive about ageing

Other regions are East Anglia, London, North East and North West

This study also gave a summary of what the top five best things about ageing were considered to be:

If you'd like to see the full results you can read them here

Thursday Trivia -

Have a go at these trivia questions and see how many you can answer or have a guess at. We'll share the answers tomorrow.

  1. In what year was the first ever Wimbledon Championship held?

  2. Which planet is the hottest in the solar system?

  3. How many tastebuds does the average human tongue have?

  4. What is the smallest country in the world?

  5. What is the name used to describe a group of frogs?

  6. What was the highest selling album of the 1980’s?

  7. Which English artist was famous for his industrial Lancashire townscapes filled with matchstick figures?

  8. According to Greek mythology who was the first woman on earth?

  9. Which fruit has more genes than humans?

  10. Rain contains which vitamin?

  11. Which flower can help in cleaning radioactive waste?

  12. Earthquakes have the ability to turn water into which element?

  13. What was the name of The Beatles first album and what year was it released?

  14. What was the name of the 1980's British Pop Group that won the Eurovision Song Contest with their song 'Making Your Mind Up' and what was the exact year they won it?

*Don't forget to send in anything you've created, written, read or found interesting that you'd like to share with other members. Send to us and we'll share it in our Saturday Segments feature.

Any Instagrammers?

If anyone is on Instagram, FORMAT (International Photography Festival) are inviting people to join in the @MassIsolation project. This idea is Inspired by the Mass Observation Project, a project founded in 1937 to study every day behaviour in Britain.

The idea is to capture a visual record of the Covid 19 Crisis on Instagram by sharing your experience of this global pandemic through your photographs, drawings, memes, tips and ideas. If you want to take part send to @massisolation and tag #massisolation and #massisolationFORMAT

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