Over the last year, director and photographer, Claire Marie Vogel photographed and interviewed 31 artists about how they are dealing with isolation and its effect on creativity. With photos shot over FaceTime and interviews conducted via text, musicians ranging from established to DIY share a behind-the-scenes look at how the pandemic has impacted being an artist over the past year.
Reflective Refuge is a female run collective of creatives working to enrich the relationship between music and technology.
For the past year, traditional forms of connecting and creating have been challenged by the global pandemic and Reflective Refuge has focused on creative solutions to these obstacles. We’ve partnered with Claire Marie Vogel on her Artists in Isolation project as it’s a great example of a resourceful approach. Her ability to adapt while still retaining a high level of artistic control and expression is one of the several reasons why we feel fortunate to be working with her on bringing this project to life.
I wanted to find out what artists were feeling and give them a space to share those experiences, so that others can see how we’re all adapting in different ways - and a lot of the same ways. At the start of the pandemic, I was asking myself a lot of the questions that I ended up asking the artists. By asking these questions to musicians, I hoped the answers could offer some comfort and transparency to anyone reading them - artists and music lovers alike.
The most challenging was starting and finishing. Once I got going, I didn’t want to stop! Another challenging aspect was just getting on a call with a stranger and forging a connection that allowed us to collaborate in this unusual way. That same thing ended up being the most rewarding part as well. At the end of a call, when I felt like I had made a connection with another human and had a creative experience, it was such a incredible feeling. I have a lot of gratitude for being able to tap into those experiences through my phone.
I learned that I can connect with people and collaborate without being there in person. Is it the same as shooting in the flesh? No. That said, it can still be pretty incredible. I learned I can depend on myself to make work I’m proud of with whatever limitations are placed on me.
Yes and no. Towards the beginning I think we were all in a state of shock, grief and adjustment. Most people have adapted to this new way of life over time, but I don’t know that anyone stopped grappling with those feelings.
I hope to see that touring is back and that artists of all levels are able to make a living in a booming industry that’s been missing them dearly. I’d love to see strong community and support around music and other professionals in the industry. The pandemic has made it clear that there needs to be more substantial safety nets developed not only for artists, but the people working with them such as venues, sound engineers, lighting designers, tour managers, etc.