I am immuno-compromised as a result of a medical condition, from which I was medically retired as a young doctor. I then did an MA in fine Art at the UCA Farnham. When the country went into lockdown, I decided to create a body of artwork about my experience of being shielded from society. The work would have limitations like myself, I could only use materials in my home at the point of lockdown.
MAY 23, I expressed my thoughts and ideas in a mind map. I’m stranded in my own home; I feel beached and I thought of using driftwood from a recent holiday. My artistic practice uses repetition of cast objects that relate to each other and when combined reveal a narrative. I combined the driftwood with objects that related to my autobiographical experience. I decided to use fragmented doll parts as I felt depersonalised as a result of being removed from society. They also signified lack of agency being told to stay inside, I felt puppet like. I cast hands and arms in reference to washing hands to prevent COVID-19 and the inability to shake hands. Human femurs represented mortality and our fragility during this current pandemic.
WEEK 1 and 2, I cast driftwood in Jesmonite rendering it to look like Ivory referencing the way humans treat animals and perhaps this was why COVID-19 jumped to a human host. The sculpture was held together by bandages a reference to Florence Nightingale, the NHS and the new Nightingale hospitals.
The bandages were stained with coffee to look unclean and signify disease. The driftwood is arranged in a form resembling COVID-19.
WEEK 3 I used other textures and natural dyes for the bandages such as turmeric and paprika.
15th APRIL I rediscovered Instagram a great way to communicate with the outside world. I can communicate and share work with other artists!
WEEK 4 I thought about how fragile humanity and society is with COVID 19. If I took the bandages away from my Sculpture, it would become like a game of “pick o sticks” one wrong move and it would disintegrate reflecting society coming out of lockdown. I also considered that Covid is often red in electron microscope images. I change the texture of the driftwood again to a meat-like bloody quality.
WEEK 5 and 6. I thought that the vector of COVID-19 should be represented. I cast multiple small bats from a Halloween ring. I arranged these 2cm-wingspan bats on the kitchen worksurface as a small installation called Isolation 2020. We are advised to stay an adult armspan apart. The bats were arranged two wingspans apart in an urban grid of geometric vectors, a play on words. Bats are social animals and like to hang out. A sense of humour has become important!
WEEK 7 I introduced the bats to my sculpture. Beached
WEEK 8 / THIS WEEK. Confinement has made me reuse photoshop. I revisited old work using cast human pelvic bones. They look Covid like.
Resulting in Sneeze 2020 made yesterday.
Images and Words © Sally De Courcy 2020
My work uses repetition while isolated through shielding to artistically communicate with a world ironically devastated by viral replication.