Inspiration, comfort, challenge, reflection, discussion—at no time do creative arts offer us more than during crisis. Faced with the closing of so many doors through travel bans, museum and gallery closures, lockdowns, quarantines and social distancing, artists of all kinds are responding with new ways to make new connections on new platforms to articulate this moment in history.
For visual artists and their artistic practices, the challenges of covid-19 have inspired everything from revisiting previous works while in lockdown to creating something entirely new in direct response to the crisis. Here, we look at a selection of artworks, all undertaken since February by artists of Middle Eastern heritage or residence, that pertain loosely to themes of isolation, lifestyle, access, environment and healing. The artists are only a few of the many who, amid coping with their own personal obstacles, continue to create, collaborate and encourage art that, as the works here show, proves both culturally particular and universal.