With the creative industry still battling the hit of the pandemic, artists like Paula DuBois have taken to social media to showcase their work - reaching a greater market than what they're accustomed to.
At the start of 2020, we all had plans and resolutions, but little did we know what awaited us. Luckily for Paula, her last public exhibition was held in February (ahead of the lockdown) and showcased her latest work A New Nature Above and Below – We Are Connected, inspired by the biblical books Genesis and Romans chapter 8, verses 21 to 24. “Those words could not be more appropriate for a time like this,” Paula says.
She continues quoting her extract from A New Nature, “He [God] called the dry ground land and the gathered waters. What is above, I have found below a resemblance in form and colour; symbolic of the conscious and subconscious. Through daily walks in nature, I am drawn to the here and now. The crunch of stones under my feet, the smell of fynbos on a salty sea breeze, the sight of a hummingbird hovering in mid-air. Disturb or remove one, and it affects all. Order turns to chaos, beauty to decay. We are connected. Intentionally living and working together for the good of others. Intricately linked, creatures and creation we shape a new nature that is filled with life.”
The Pretoria-born artist says that lockdown has been a gift for her in a way, as she’s not one who moves fast with the times, but like most creatives she has been active on digital platforms and this has opened up a new market for her. Recently, Paula participated in a 10-day Facebook challenge where artists nominated each other to share their work.
“I got wonderful exposure through it [10-day Facebook challenge]; exposure that I might not have gotten in a physical gallery. It reached people outside my 'friends' network. I had to turn to social media in a new way to showcase my work; the result was fantastic and I am grateful for this. I want to thank every art buyer during this time. This enables artists to continue with our creations. I had fantastic sales through individual buyers who saw my art on different digital platforms, which I am tremendously grateful for. Just as kids and teachers had to learn new skills in this time, artists took to social media like never before and we had to learn fast,” she says.
Support for the arts has seen slow progress over the years and Paula recommends that art should be supported from early development ages, while an immediate contribution is buying art.
“Art, music and drama need to be seen as important subjects in schools and should be of a high standard. I went to Pro Arte Alphen Park High School in Pretoria. It set the stage for my career. My love and interest in art were natured, not only in fine arts but also in performing arts. This holistic approach to the arts made my life richer.”
Connect with Paula on Facebook.
Author: Yonga Balfour