Portraits of the 2020 pandemic: part three

By Chloe Nott

Everyone has a story. And everyone can have an impact. The only way to get through this is by working together and doing our part to help each other out. 

Here is part three of our collection of stories from people just like you. Here we tell what it’s like for them to stay at home, get groceries and worry about friends and family.

Marie Larkin

Marie Larkin- Tamworth, NSW, Australia

How has COVID-19 affected you? Both your work life and day to day living.

Corona has affected the arts. In some ways the effect has been immediate and in others it is too early to see the effect. Bricks and mortar galleries have closed their doors to the public and are now having exhibitions online or postponing them. Openings and walk-throughs for new shows are virtual. However the galleries I am associated with are still taking their usual 50% commission even though they are only offering a virtual show. How much the diving economies affect art sales is yet to be seen.

I have a work in a big show in LA that opens ‘virtually’ next weekend. There will be two other shows that open at that gallery (it’s a huge gallery) at the same time. I am waiting to see how much of these shows sell and how the gallery proceeds after that. I have a solo show there in August. I have worked for 10 years to get a show like this. I had booked to go to the opening but I will not be able to travel now. If the global economy dives I may not be able to sell any work in the show. I am waiting to see how shows all over the world sell over the next few months to gauge how we are being affected. So it’s hard for me because at this stage I still have to work hard to finish the paintings for this show because at this point it is still going ahead but I am very anxious about the success of the show in terms of sales. In some ways it would be better to postpone shows until things improve but I’m not sure if galleries will do that. Shows are booked two years in advance. But I have to admit I am very anxious indeed.

In terms of my ‘working’ life and artistic practice, very little has changed for me. I rarely left the house anyway. For me isolation and lockdown is extremely easy because there is no change. I haven’t had anything taken away from me.

Have you had any difficulty getting essentials such as groceries?

We are doing a mixture of both. Anything I can get online I am, anything I can leave for the moment I am, and Mick (husband) is doing the grocery runs, which we usually only do once a week anyway. Pet needs I purchased online, or I phoned ahead to Petbarn and had them bundle up so Mick could just pick up.  We do have a sick dog so we have had to take her to the vet.

Geoff Rutherford

Geoff Rutherford-Tamworth, NSW, Australia

How has COVID-19 affected you? 

Other than not being able to be with friends and other family members, my family life has been really good. I stay home with our four Children, ages between 3-13. Especially during school term, I sit with my children and do school work that is assigned to them by their school. We take this opportunity to connect with our children in the part of life that we don’t get to see and is very important to their up-bringing. Church attendance is strictly on-line now, which is still great, but I miss the interaction of the congregation. Also I play bass in the music team and I miss that.

What have you been doing whilst in isolation?

Other than doing everyday dad work, I love playing music. So I play my guitar, record the song and play it back while on the bass, kinda like a self jam session. Before my “leisure” activities, basic housework is required (as my wife works four days a week) and some other house/yard work that needs attending.

Have you had any difficulty getting essentials such as groceries?

Personally, I don’t do the shopping, my wife does. She has a set day (day off work) to do so. It is hard though that there is a limit of certain grocery items, such as 6 cans of food per shopper. Obviously this toilet paper craze is hard as well. Other than that, not much of a frantic problem (as I am told by my wife).

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