I want to thank all of those that have offered support to Melbourne Art Class in the recent months. In many small ways you have indicated that what we do is of value to your lives. Some of you showed understanding when we had to cancel classes. Some embraced online learning with a kindly patience. Others yearned to get back into the studio, which kept our eyes on the end goal. Truly, thank you.
I am grateful for the response of our State and Federal governments as well as the national cabinet. Newly formed, the national cabinet moved quickly to ease our situation. Looking back to March as we progressed rapidly into shut-down, the outlook was grim for a small businesses such as ours. I am deeply appreciative of the leadership shown from our governments and also of the leadership I saw in other spheres. If mistakes were made, they were made in the haste of throwing out a lifeboat to us.
I am so grateful to be Iiving in Australia. Whilst we still have many challenges to overcome as a nation, the leadership shown during pandemic has demonstrated that we can work together in a bipartisan way. We need discussion. We also need to watch that we don’t slip back into an accusatory politics.
I know that many have struggled during the shut-down and that some are grieving at this time. For me personally however it has been a positive experience. I feel that my family has been enriched by being together and I certainly appreciated a quiet city which enabled me to focus on my creative work. I’ve heard some ask, what is that we have gained from this experience that we take with us moving forward? I am asking the same question and the answer so far is; go slower, be with the ones you love and allow time for creativity.
Here, I am reminded that creativity takes time. It takes experimentation, play, shifting, disconnecting and reconnecting before we can begin to create what is new. It also takes failure. I admit that in many instances I have lost that sense of play, but this recent time has enabled me to see it again. We need to allow our children this time, so that they know what it is and how to access it later in life. For this reason, I’ve discouraged younger children from attending our classes and tell parents that it is better if they can give them the space and the materials to play at home. I had a lot of time to play as a child. I built my first toy boat using the nails I extracted from our old wooden fence, which subsequently started to loose palings. I made sculptures out of sand and water. I drew because there was nothing else to do.
Our society is a creative project. There is a place for calling out it’s ills in an appropriate way but solutions come when we see through each others eyes and give each other room to grow. We need to give each other permission to fail and get back up again, to try another way. The Arts is vital part of seeing from someone else’s subjective experience. However, most important of all is the elimination of the combative posture and the maintaining of the dignity of all as a universal value. In doing so, we may eventually hear the others’ stories and maybe our hearts will be open and torn a little as we realise we are all naked and hurting. Then, perhaps our stories can merge as we look towards a common, mutually enriching future.
Written by Marco Corsini.