ENTERTAINMENT NEWS - Social distancing, self-isolation, quarantine and lockdown during the current coronavirus outbreak may seem like harmless words at first.
However, there’s increasing concern from mental health experts that, while necessary in our efforts to flatten the infection curve, these restrictions bring with them a range of psychological side effects.
“Broadly speaking, everyone needs to protect their mental health during this time,” said Associate Professor Kevin GF Thomas, the head of University of Cape Town’s department of psychology, in a recent article of the university website.
Singling out depression, generalised anxiety disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder as three specific examples of some common mental health issues that people have been reporting across the world during these trying times, Thomas said lockdown, social distancing, isolation and quarantine do not mean that all social contact must cease.
“We are fortunate to live in an age where social media allows us to remain in touch with friends and family members who are physically distant from us. I would, therefore, advise judicious use of social media as a means to protect mental health,” said Thomas.
And it would seem that many entertainment outlets, including art galleries, are rising to the occasion.
The Standard Bank Art Gallery on Tuesday announced they are in the process of bringing a series of immersive artistic experiences – titled Lockdown Live – to people’s homes. The show would feature some of its renowned young artists from over the years.
“This period offers us an opportunity to continue supporting the industry by providing artists in our stable an opportunity to share their craft with the nation regardless of the challenges faced by the country that have devastating economic impact,” said group head of sponsorship Desiree Pooe in a statement.
The gallery said the new normal has encouraged the portfolio to explore new ways of how it can continue to uplift the arts and entertainment industry while also keeping arts enthusiasts entertained during the national lockdown period.
“Research shows that whether you choose to create it yourself or simply observe and enjoy it, art can be a relaxing and inspiring activity for many people,” said the gallery in a statement.
In a working document on the clinical effectiveness of art therapy, the National Centre for Biotechnology Information said that art therapy can be very valuable in treating issues such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and even some phobias.
The Standard Bank Gallery virtual exhibition artist lineup will include but is not limited to artist and jazz musician Nduduzo Makathini, bassist, composer and producer Shane Cooper, Thandi Ntuli and Benjamin Jephta.
“Art is a connector and a reminder that we are still whole and united regardless of what the country may face,” said sponsorship manager Dianne Graney.
“We are looking forward to going live this week with what will be a weekly series featuring a few of our previous and current Standard Bank young artists, who through our digital platforms, will give live performances and share their stories of their journey from when they won the award to where they are today.”