The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown in South Africa has had significant impacts on daily life for all of us. Creative Feel caught up with Standard Bank Gallery Manager Dr Same Mdluli to find out what life under lockdown means to her – and how Standard Bank is continuing to support the arts during this time.
Creative Feel: How has the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown affected your role as Gallery Manager at Standard Bank?
Dr Same Mdluli: The gallery closed on the 19th of March 2020 in response to COVID-19 and as a public space this was to ensure that it supports efforts to flatten the curve as prescribed by government requirements. This has meant that as gallery manager, much like other employees, I now must work from home.
CF: The Standard Bank Gallery has been creating virtual exhibitions for some time now, has this made the lockdown transition slightly easier?
SM: The virtual gallery has been an existing part of the Standard Bank Arts portfolio strategy in keeping in par with trends and developments happening in the sector. The virtual gallery initially launched with David Koloane, with the aim of extending the exhibition to audiences that may not have the opportunity to see it in person. But it was also envisioned as an archival and cataloguing method that could live online long after the exhibition has closed.