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Artists may have felt useless in lockdown, but we need them more than ever | Alice O’Keeffe

The pandemic has shown us that a life with just the basics of food and healthcare isn’t enough – we are craving culture

In a year that has been almost devoid of in-real-life cultural experiences, one evening stands out. It was just after Christmas got cancelled, shortly before lockdown 3.0. I’d bought tickets for the family to visit Glow Wild, a winter lantern trail on the Wakehurst estate in Sussex. In line with the season of disappointments, I had been fully expecting an email telling me that it would not be going ahead, but somehow – because it was an outdoor, socially distanced event – it opened as planned.

On an ordinary year, this would have been one in a whole array of Christmas outings, to the panto, to grownup theatre, exhibitions, maybe a gig. But this year it was the only one, and as a result the lanterns we saw that evening glow brightly in my memory. The trail is put together every year by the local community arts group Same Sky, and involves thousands of paper lights hung from the trees, light and sound installations, and projections on to the walls of the stately home.

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Source: Artists may have felt useless in lockdown, but we need them more than ever | Alice O’Keeffe

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