Here in our small town, surrounded by our returned family (both our grown-up children live on boats normally) the pandemic often seems unreal, but whilst we have been basking in sunshine and watching spring unfold in the beautiful wilds of Cowal, others are confined in closed cities. Many are lonely, some are mourning the loss of loved ones. Mostly, we count our blessings.
We work together as a husband and wife team. Chris writes poetry and Michaela puts the words into clay, along with imagery and texture. Our income comes from galleries, workshops and large ceramic fairs - all of which are closed or not running as scheduled. After the initial shock of this, we began to rethink how to trade what we make. Michaela has offered some courses via Zoom, Chris has revamped the website so we have a functioning shop, we have tried hard to stay connected through newsletters and social media. Our income remains much reduced, but we will get through this. The support we have received from (and have been able to give to) others has been more important than ever.
Art seems like an indulgence in the current circumstances, when compared to nursing or caring for the sick, so much so that it has been hard at times to focus on new work. However, so much of the world we have known now has a question mark. What will come out of this period of our history remains to be seen, and we think that dreamers, poets and artists will be needed more than ever. In the midst of all of the pain and difficulty, there may yet be reasons to be hopeful.
The art we make makes use of poetry, so it seemed appropriate to end with one of Chris’s poems reflecting on the pandemic;
in the old way of thinking, change
comes only through Great Love, or
Great Suffering - but both are hard, both
break us apart, if we let them
then (like trinity) comes
the Great Silence.