"Despite the financial strain, the community is being as creative as ever... I know that this is a really difficult moment, but I know that in the adversity, we will see something really special."
In this week's 'Home Guide', we catch up with Dazed's Arts Editor, Ashleigh Kane, to see how she's managing her time in isolation and how she's seen it affect the creative community she knows so well.
How has COVID-19 affected your local community?
I work mostly within the art and photography communities and they have, at least commercially, come to a standstill. All shoots and exhibitions, openings, etc, have been postponed or cancelled. It’s really sad to see peoples’ livelihoods in limbo. I know a lot of creatives live pay-check to pay-check so it is really concerning to see this unfold.
Despite the financial strain, the community is being as creative as ever. Everyone is rallying and organising online projects to keep each other connected. I’ve seen people making new images in incredibly interesting new ways too. I know this is a really difficult moment but I know that in the adversity we will see something really special. My work with Dazed feels busier than ever, my team is so brilliant at reacting in positive and proactive ways to anything thrown at them. I’m very grateful to be a part of that.
How would you describe your hometown right now?
Well, my official hometown is Melbourne, Australia. My family tells me they’ll be in lockdown very soon. But otherwise, they’re experiencing a lot of the same panic as we’re seeing here. My sister sends me the craziest videos of people queuing, like a hundred deep, to get into a grocery store. My adopted hometown, it’s a bit like a ghost town. They’ve closed my local park now so I can’t even go there for a run once a day, early in the morning. It’s just all a bit surreal, but I’m remaining positive – albeit not trying to think too far ahead.
What are you cooking/ordering in the most?
I’ve actually started cooking consistently – lunches and dinners. It’s been a great respite from the monotony of working at my laptop, nonstop, in the same space, day after day. It introduces something new and for that I’m really grateful. This week, I think I’ll be making some cauliflower pilaf, sweet potato curry, and trying out some new salads. That’s the bright side of this whole thing, I’ve probably never eaten so healthy, this consistently, in my life.
What are some good books & films that help you escape?
I just finished Tiger King on Netflix – I’m sure by the time this comes out, it will be old news, but wow, what a way to escape from our current reality. I’ve been marathoning Buffy, it’s eerily familiar to some of what’s happening with us. I finally watched Uncut Gems, then went on a little Adam Sandler trip down memory lane. I’m trying to do a mix of it all, from trash TV to documentaries, blockbuster, and lesser-knowns. I’ll be watching Waves tonight.
Favourite podcast, album or mix?
Honestly, I’ve been listening to so much radio. It’s on all day, every day until I go to bed. Anything 00s and 90s hip hop and R&B has been keeping me going… for now. That might not be the coolest answer but we do what we have to to survive right.
Tips on keeping up your fitness & mental wellness?
I’ve been running 5km every morning. I never used to run before this, unless it was part of a class. So it’s been great to get into that, although it’s becoming a little trickier now they’ve closed my local park. I’m running early in the morning and that’s helping me avoid busy times. I just had some exercise mats delivered too, so I can emulate some of the classes I'm missing now we can't go to the gym. So any good workouts happening on IG, send my way, please.
Where are you looking forward to travelling to after this is all over?
A beach, anywhere, with my best friend. I can’t wait to go back to Australia and be with my family, although I worry they’re about to get the worst of it by going into winter. I’d be happy with anywhere hot where I can swim, eat fresh food, drink wine, dance, and be close to my loved ones.
One thing you’d like to achieve whilst in isolation?