On the 22nd April 2020 alongside the launch of my new website, an online auction to raise money for PPE for the NHS also went live.
A few months ago, the world went into shut-down as it tried to tackle the spread of Covid-19, however it quickly became a pandemic that we were ill-prepared for and forcing us to live in a way that has never been seen in this time.
With ppe shortages and gowns unfit for use, our frontline NHS staff are continuously at risk, and I, like so many others, decided to do what we could to raise money in aid of this, as keeping our frontline workers safe is crucial if we’re to get through this. But from the negative comes the positive.
Despite living in a time that is so uncertain, strange and scary, fighting a silent and invisible enemy, people have come together. The support and solidarity during this time has been exceptional, strangers helping strangers, emphasis placed on getting to know and caring for our neighbours.
We are shifting from an individualist-orientated society, one we were in prior to this out-break, to a collectivist society. (See here’s where my social anthropology comes in!) I have absolutely loved trawling the news to find these stories, stories about everyone taking time to say good morning or good afternoon to people on their walks, of moments where absolute strangers have come to the aid of another, (like me yesterday, a lovely man in a van came to jump start my car after leaving it un-driven for 5 weeks!).
These people are expecting nothing other than to help someone else out or to show their support and solidarity.
Where once people looked ahead, blinkers on, hurrying to get from A to B, we now look to others. There has been a shift in emphasis, this is not something an individual will get through, but done through the interconnectedness of people, of households, communities, societies, we are all in this together, with the same needs and goals; to get through this safely. And this has become the central role in how we are living our lives today.
The auction was no different, the winning bid in the end was a crowdfund. It was people, old school friends, who have barely seen each other since, coming together, collectively raising more money than would have been possible otherwise, not so that one would win, but so that they all would.
So my auction came to be a beautiful metaphor for what we are seeing nationwide.
Huge thanks to everyone who supported the auction in so many ways; by liking, sharing, and bidding. It’s been a fantastic experience and great to do something for others through my painting. £1100 were raised for NHS Charities Together, with the painting being donated to a hospital (TBC). This was the first time I’ve done anything like this, and it certainly won’t be the last!