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Arts sector goes digital

Written by: Silusapho Nyanda

The world is increasingly connected and as physical contact is restricted by the coronavirus pandemic, people are finding innovative ways to share their work.

A young artist has published her artwork online as the coronavirus continues disrupting life as we know it.

Stellenbosch University Fine Arts graduate Alexandra Edmayr used a picture of a plastic bag and photoshopped it to create a piece of art that was published as part of the #MaterialsMatterChallenge by the Iziko Museums of South Africa. 

Iziko Museums is calling on artists to create their own artwork using recyclable materials lying around their home and post a photo of it on social media using the hashtag #MaterialsMatterChallenge. Iziko posts the artwork on its social media pages. 

Edmayr says she chose to create the artwork as a digital piece as she did not have plastic recyclables at home. She says: “The first challenge was to create something with a plastic bag. I’ve been doing my best to avoid single-use plastics so I actually didn’t have any plastic to work with as a sculptural element. I did, however, have a photo of a plastic bag from a different piece I was planning to make. The piece then became a digital artwork that I titled 'Plastic all around us'.”

She says that she chose to participate in the #MaterialsMatterChallenge as it is a fun way for everyone to join in. “We find ourselves scrolling through social media more often since the lockdown started. When I saw the challenge, it sparked me into action. Whether you are an artist, a parent or a school child, we all find we’ve got more time on our hands, so the idea of using found objects and creating something beautiful can bring us together,” says Edmayr.

Ellen Agnew, spokesperson for Iziko Museums of South Africa, says that even though museums are closed, people can view art through digital platforms such as www.iziko.org.za and the #MuseumFromHome initiative.