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Brief Published: 8 Apr 2020

Digital Art Provides Escapism for the Isolated

Color Push by WeTransfer & Zach Lieberman

The stay-at-home measures imposed by the Covid-19 outbreak are triggering a growing need for revised modes of mindfulness. Digital artists are exploiting their talents to provide virtual moments of joy, calm and escapism for the homebound. We highlight three noteworthy examples.

  • German artist Timo Helgert’s ongoing series The Return of Nature sees cultural landmarks – such as the Taj Mahal, the New York subway and the notoriously busy Shibuya crossing in Tokyo – overrun with plants and insects. His digital animations depict the world further into the pandemic, reclaimed by nature. Accompanied by soothing natural sounds and gentle breezes, they have a solitary but calming beauty. For more photo-realistic digital art, see Instagram: 10 Phygital Influencers.
  • A more light-hearted offering from London-based designer Rifke Sadleir imagines an isolated tropical island, Costa del Solitude, for those with cancelled holiday plans to enjoy virtually. ‘Visitors’ can move around the island and experience rudimentary day or night modes. The scene also provides a backdrop for online music platform Keep Hush, which is offering a programme of live-streamed music for those in isolation.
  • In a collaboration with file-sharing platform WeTransfer, US code artist Zach Lieberman has developed Color Push, an interactive wallpaper that offers users a moment of escapism through creative experimentation. Users spend 90 seconds manipulating a malleable, colourful image on-screen. The finished artwork can then be downloaded and shared on social media with the hashtag #colorpush.

The lockdown has demonstrated the importance of art as a means of comfort, with consumers seeking ways to experience and engage with culture and creative pursuits from their homes. See Covid-19: Creativity in Quarantine for an in-depth analysis of how the global art and design scene is reacting.

Costa del Solitude by Rifke Sadleir
The Return of Nature by Timo Helgert
The Return of Nature by Timo Helgert
The Return of Nature by Timo Helgert
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