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  • Ellen O'Rourke

Isolation Lessons: 3

Lesson Three

Art isn't going anywhere.


My social media feeds have been inundated with events being cancelled or postponed. Festivals, gigs and openings of local art collections (Gill at Emporium Helston, I’m thinking of you), all pushed aside for a life of wearing the same sweatpants, day in, day out. I completely agree with the precautions put in place; it’s vital that we stay at home. But, I’m still allowed to be miffed by it all. My flatmate was due to see Whitesnake in Birmingham this year. She cried while watching an Instagram story with David Coverdale once she heard it would be postponed. I can’t say I blame her, he’s a dish.


Today, as I trudged through a depressingly empty Falmouth to collect essentials (banana chips are an isolation must-have, don’t judge), I passed The Poly, our local independent centre for arts. My university experience is intertwined with The Poly. I met Kate Adie there in 2018 and fan-girled like a teenage girl at a pop concert. After a breakup, I picked myself off of the sofa and went to watch 'Under The Wire’, a documentary about journalist Marie Colvin, my hero. I picked a seat in the back of the empty theatre, cried in the dark, watched a documentary that sparked my passion for war correspondence and deleted his number. I think Marie would have been proud.

Since the beginning of time, humans have felt the urge to create. Be it more humans, paintings on cave walls, or music. Throughout wars, economies collapsing and the threat of nuclear war, art didn’t just magically disappear. If anything, darker times inspired many to communicate their fears through the medium of song, art or film. This is why I’m not too worried about missing out on the arts. Despite not being able to gather, I’ve watched more live gigs this week via social media than I would have done all year. A kid I went to secondary school with hosted an entire gig in their bedroom for their followers to enjoy. Collage kits, letter writing, the hashtag ‘#CoronaCovers’ for musicians; not only are we bouncing back, but we’re being astoundingly creative in our attempt to engage in art. I think it’s pretty inspiring. Who knows, I may even be tempted to record my own Corona Cover in the long weeks to come. Watch this space, or close your ears.

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