About this Series
Viral Load, Bearing Witness to the Pandemic, is a series of ten mixed media drawings on canvas, centered on the emotional consequences of cumulative, collective loss experienced during the CoVid-19 pandemic.
Psychology shows that when the emotionally reactive, instinctive mind is triggered, information processing and rational thinking are difficult to maintain. Schematic diagrams of the SARS CoV-2 virus responsible for CoVid-19, along with partially dissolved, incomplete text snippets of the pathophysiology, symptoms and complications of this devastating disease merge imagery of contemporary “data overload” with the body language of emotional trauma and physical distress.
Fragile, translucent, ghostlike bodies wear the minimal “personal protective gear” of mask and gloves, resting in dissolution between spirit and bone, exhaustion and illness. Isolated, compressed and cropped within webs that visually link each canvas in the series to the others, these figures exist within a nexus of viral particles and incomprehensible medical data. Splatters suggestive of infectious airborne transmission provide muted layers of color over gestural marks of charcoal and graphite.
Invisible transmissions continuously occur through both physical contact and digital social interactions. Politically motivated conspiracy theories designed to distract and confuse, and economically motivated urgencies to “get back to normal” seek to minimize and deny the multiple cascading impacts of this devastating global disease. This series openly embodies the human suffering and vulnerabilities that lie in the wake of broken and unsustainable social, economic and health care systems.
On a personal note: Before transitioning to a career in the arts, the artist's professional background included medical training, with several years of hands-on experience caring for the sick and dying.