Fidelma O’Riordan reflects: How to Live

In another reflective piece, Fidelma O’Riordan – Creative Apprentice at John Hansard Gallery – shares her thoughts on How to Live by David Blandy.

How to Live (2020) is one of two digital works by artist David Blandy, specially commissioned by John Hansard Gallery to reflect on the uncertain times we currently find ourselves in. The work was first shown as part of the gallery’s online programme in June 2020 and you can still watch it here.

How to Live
by Fidelma O’Riordan

I liked this film because I agreed with what he was saying – it is important to appreciate and see beauty in everything, even things that do not seem lively until you put the life into it by yourself – maybe by digitally enhancing it as he did. I liked what he said about knowing what is real and fake, while showing images of natural things, that were not actually moving, and some of the images were very saturated and therefore looked quite unnatural to me. I felt a bit hypocritical at the end, because something about insects just scares me a lot, and I couldn’t watch it as I was sat right in front of the screen and it was just too real – when in fact, it can’t hurt me because it’s not really there, but I know that it is somewhere. This might not have disturbed other viewers as much, but starting the video with photographs of peaceful scenery, and then suddenly to videos of moving insects was an intentional choice to make the viewer realise what is real, what really scares them about what is real, and while it is nice to think about a life that is free from worry, there can always be things to scare you in the natural world. 

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