Artist’s Statements for a Few Pieces from the Pandemic Series In the Time of COVID
Now that my art exhibition is open to the public at the Koger Center for the Arts, I thought I would share a bit of insight into a few of my favorite pieces from this series of self-portraits and still life art I created in response to the recent pandemic.
"In the Time of COVID”
A nurse holds a COVID molecule as if it is a regal sphere, sort of a globus cruciger, and offers a blessing of health to medical workers and researchers.
One the first images I created when the quarantine was taking effect was this one of a nurse wearing a white face mask. I took the photograph in a time when the public was being urged not to use face masks because they were so desperately needed by healthcare providers. I had the vision I wanted to create but decided I would not use a real mask, but would sew one for myself using scrap fabric. In the end, the look of my homemade mask was more in keeping with the vintage feel of the image.
I wanted this image to be a salute to healthcare workers on the front lines, as well as the researchers behind the scenes who I knew were working day and night to find a cure. I wished them peace and protection through the ominous future. Captured Tuesday, May 5, 2020.
Housework and home improvement fill the vacuum left by canceled social events.
In this humorous pin-up inspired image, I depict a '60's era housewife being plagued by a small appliance. In a nod to the perennial Hitchcock heroine, I'm wearing my pearls, cardigan and hair-in-a-twist. The title is a reference to the empty area in the upper left of the image and is also a play on the phrase horror vacui (Nature abhors a vacuum) referencing the damsel's peril as well as the pastime that many people rediscovered in their empty quarantine hours: house-cleaning. (No comment is needed on the model's vacuous expression.) Captured Saturday, July 11, 2020.
2020 arrived with such high hopes; it was going to be the glamorous Roaring ‘20s all over again with grace, elegance, fashion and parties. But there were no grand parties, only the new phrase: “social distancing.” Instead of hats, pocket-watches and beaded dresses, people wore surgical gloves, masks and yoga pants. Everyone was on the hunt for alcohol, but it was hand sanitizer that was prized, not bathtub gin.
For this image, I wanted to portray a disillusioned party girl, tired of it all, just waiting for the night to be over. I used dramatic lighting to bring attention to the luxurious details and to highlight the dead eye stare that says “I am so done with this!” Captured Saturday, September 26, 2020.
For this image, I wanted to express my feeling of triumph over the virus.
I conceived the image after viewing the fantastical artwork of Frank Frazetta. It was the time, also, of the Great Conjunction (aka the Christmas Star) and FDA approval of the first vaccine. I felt in my soul that mankind was making headway against the enemy.
So here I am, a victorious warrior slaying the evil foe. I’m giving a battle cry on behalf of the world. If you look closely at the camouflage pattern, you may be able to see the outline of the COVID-19 molecule among the browns and greens. Also, see my first vaccination site on my upper arm, as well as my discarded 2020 day planner, which proved itself pretty useless in early spring.
I made the COVID-19 molecule using a large styrofoam sphere and I studded it with golf tees and painted pompoms.
I used several layers in Photoshop to add the rainbow, sunrise, waxing moon and conjunction star: all signs of hope in the sky. Captured Wednesday, December 16, 2020.
So, this is one way I kept occupied during the pandemic shut-downs. Now that the world is opening back up, I'm excited to have this art on display for others to reflect upon. These self-portraits are part of the series In the Time of COVID on display at Koger Center for the Arts April 3-August 13, 2021. Call (803) 777-7500 for details on viewing the entire 70+ item exhibition in person.
Also, all the artwork in this series is available for purchase in various media; reach out to the studio for details. And if you have been thinking about having your portrait created, let's make an appointment to discuss your special photography session; our Irmo, SC studio is spacious, clean and ready to serve your artistic needs.