Royal College of Art
PANDEMIC, LOCKDOWN AND WELLBEING
In March 2020, at the start of lock down, a friend sent me a photograph she had taken on her walk around Monkton Combe in Bath.
I liked it in two ways:
The first being the communication from a friend and the second, the image itself aligned with the change of circumstances and my love of drawing.
From this I threw out an invitation that encompassed those who I was in touch with including via Facebook, Instagram, text, WhatsApp and phone calls. Over 40 acquaintances, friends and family have responded and to date I have completed 20 of these. I only work at night with the radio or TV in the background. I spend a maximum of 3 hours a night and around 3-5 days on them.
I was acutely aware of my own isolation that emerged more and more strongly as the weeks passed and I have consciously used the excuse of sending a daily update of each one to share my progress and receive comments back on everyday. This has had the lovely effect of focusing interaction and communication intimately, seeing how those I communicated with are and how they have responded, both to the progression but also a sense of time passed in each other’s company – no matter where in the world it was. This focused attention reminding us of each other more intensely.
Naturally as I live in Bath, some are local to me, some in the UK, but also friends from South Africa, Kenya, Australia, Canada, USA, Hong Kong and China.
This is a continuing practice for me and many more images are arriving for me to work on.
The participatory nature of working for and with others is key to my practise and much needed during these times.
A year has passed and we are still under lockdown. Doing these drawings on a daily basis has helped me enormously. Loneliness and isolation are a daily part of my life and touching base with other through these drawings has been life saving. To date I have drawn 47, here are some of them. More to be uploaded soon, I hope.
All images are drawn in pencil on A3 cartridge paper.