artist david shrigley shares a message of hope during coronavirus lockdown

artist david shrigley shares a message of hope during coronavirus lockdown

artists share messages of hope: as the population of italy, and many other parts of the world, continue to endure lockdown conditions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, designboom — whose headquarters is in milan — has reached out to artists to share messages of hope with our readers worldwide. british artist david shrigley has dedicated an illustration that makes us smile.

david shrigley
thank you ruinart and david shrigley for the dedicated artwork



shrigley’s illustration takes the form of a tabloid newspaper’s front page, among an overload of overwhelming media coverage around COVID-19. this pandemic is stressful for billions of people around the globe, and his message elaborates about having a collective experience that everyone is going through at the same time.




designboom: what’s the best moment of the day for you?

david shrigley: ‘when I walk my dog on the beach in brighton or in the fields in devon. but that’s not the only good moment, I became acutely aware these days that I am extremely lucky to be an artist. I wake up every morning and I get to do whatever I want, well, most of the time. so when my dog is not around. creating artworks in my studio is probably the other good time of the day.’



DB: is there any topic or subject that is off limits for you? any taboos?

DS: I think taboos only exist in context. I’d also like to think I am socially responsible as an artist; it’s not my desire to offend people. but it’s difficult not to cause offence sometimes as my artworks can reach almost everyone in the world through the internet.
I try not to worry about it anyway. I guess I have a bigger voice than most people do because of being an artist. so I will continue to say what I think and to encourage positivity. it’s easy to be negative in these dark times. but I’ve decided to be positive.’




david shrigley’s ‘NEWS’ brings us an honest, humorous, and clear message to help understand what’s meaningful and what our values really are. there is a desperate irony in shrigley’s work, and he frequently shares his satirical illustrations on his instagram



DB: how do you use instagram as a way of communicating your work? does the platform have any disadvantages?

DS: ‘I usually publish one drawing a day on instagram with no specific constraint about how the grid looks like. I enjoy the idea it can reach many people and be thought-provoking but once it’s posted, I move to something else. I never read the comments or the messages. the platform can get very time-consuming and I want to avoid that.’



designboom also recently received a message of hope from olafur eliasson dedicated to italian friends and family, encouraging us to use this time for creativity, caring, and contentedness. 

david shrigley
david shrigley at work

  • The great thing about art is being able to express whatever you want because it’s art not a newspaper or magazine. If you don’t like it then don’t look at it.
    The doom and gloom guy who commented above needs to realize that money is just money, it’s replaceable but human life isn’t and once someone dies they are never coming back, we can go out and work hard for another grandmother, father, sister, friend to replace the one that passed away. All the money in the world isn’t worth a single life.

    Shawna miyamoto
  • The comment by Anthony Sully is irresponsible and inflammatory. His statements are based on emotion, not science or real world experiences. Please remove this in the interests of public health during a lethal pandemic.

    Arthur J. Corbin
  • Whilst I understand messages of hope we are heading for a cataclysmic situation whereby society will not be able to recover in our lifetime. I understand the self isolation imposed due to Covid-19 is a way of deterring its spread but locking in communities will have disastrous effects on their mental health and family stability. Schools should never have been closed because the children are far safer in school than wandering around their neighbourhoods exposing their vulnerability, and imposing a strain on parents and grandparents. I would have advocated a continuance of everything by confronting this virus headon and accepting a proportion of fatalities as a result. If only 90% of all cases escape the disease then this would have been a better course of action than shutting down everything. You cannot operate this shutdown like a tap and so that when the embargo is lifted you can simply turn it on again and everything returns to normal. There will be no normal. The shutdown means many companies go out of business beyond a point of recovery. The main industries which are all interconnected by way of supplying products or components will grind to a halt which will affect us all. The power stations will be affected and when homes are denied heating and power then panic will set in.

    Anthony Sully

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