ARTIST: SHINGAI MABIKA
COUNTRY: ZIMBABWE
MATERIALS USED: CHARCOAL and B PENCILS

It is beyond any doubt that the Covid-19 has had a terrible impact on most people’s lives.
For a brief period, the whole world was at what seemed to be a complete stand still and life
as we know it took a complete turn. One microorganism, a somewhat insignificant and
minute life form, with so much to say, so much impact and causing so much terror. With all
this happening, certain sectors of our communities have been rendered “unessential” and
this is with good reason as further spread of the virus would be catastrophic.

Among the many people whose careers and lives have been affected, artists and creatives
are arguably at the centre. You see, most works of art need audiences, the art and creative
industry is driven by expression of the artist and reaction of the audience, it is an industry
that mostly depends on crowds or contact. It is a more than a language. It is channelling
thoughts and emotions through emotion and having them reciprocated in the form of a
comment, a smile, a sigh, or a tear…

Upon thinking much on this, one must wonder how this pandemic affects an artist and here
is an account from my experience: as an artist the downside of not having to physically
connect with my audience is definitely something that is unfortunate. However, amidst a
crisis such as this one, I feel that artists are needed now more than ever to spread
awareness, educate, give people and myself an escape from the stressful reality. I have
come to understand that this pause in life was a necessary step back and take a look at
where we are and what we have done and how to move ahead.

As an artist, I understand
that Covid-19 indeed has caused a lot of negatives, but it has charged me with more
purpose to inspire hope to an anxious and concerned world. Technology and social media
platforms definitely play a role in sharing art. I might not be able to physically share the
moment with anyone who sees my work, but I rest in the thought my message has been
sent and small as it may be, I have made an impact.

The piece I have created properly portrays the current situation to be dreadful. The empty
pots depict the hunger and starvation that we are experiencing. The broken pots portray the
fear and doom which was brought by the corona virus of not getting to fulfil my dream of becoming
the greatest and well known artist. Also the black colour that I used symbolises the pains
that I experience as an artist as no one comes to buy the art works that I make.