The Lockdown Collection was developed to run during the initial 21 days of the lockdown, to capture the unprecedented times through the eyes of prominent South African artists as a live–online auction. These 21 art pieces by renowned local artists were sold to raise money to support South African artists. Each piece was revealed daily and reflected the thoughts, feelings and vision of artists’ COVID-19 experience. The overwhelming support and demand has led to more collections, such as the Student Collection, a Canadian Green Recovery Collection and also an Open Call Collection launched in 2021.

The Blind Alphabet Project: Letter B – Babery to Bigeminate (1993) from the MTN Art Collection was produced in line with a digital experience, promoted as part of MTN and UJ’s venture into the 4IR age. The project was inspired by insight from visually impaired individuals on the outdated nature of the Braille type format. The 40 works of the Letter B within the Blind Alphabet were augmented by music written by contemporary composer, Jaco Meyer, as well as voice-overs and QR codes. This enabled the visually impaired to access the works through cellular technology – listening to the music and rationale behind each artwork through earphones. The visually abled also got to appreciate this body of work in a unique way.

The National Arts Festival is South Africa’s oldest and premiere arts festival. It is the largest multi-arts festival in Africa and one of the largest in the world. The Festival presents a strong programme of theatre, dance, music, visual art, digital arts, film, comedy, street theatre, crafts, exhibitions and newly emerging hybrid art forms. 2020 saw the 47th edition of the Festival, presented virtually in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Artists wove their stories into pixels, bringing a new digital heartbeat to life and opening up the South African arts sector to extraordinary possibilities, as over 80 000 global visitors clicked onto the #VNAF platform.