About this Series
“Viral Load”, a series of ten mixed media drawings on canvas, is centered on the emotional consequences of cumulative, collective loss experienced as a result of the CoVid-19 pandemic: sickness and death, social isolation, economic insecurity, disrupted routines, delayed or canceled life events. There is much to grieve.
Elizabeth Kubler-Ross’s work on death and dying identified five stages of grief: Denial, Anger, Depression, Bargaining, Acceptance. To this list I would add: Loneliness. Fear. Frustration. Anxiety. Confusion. Exhaustion. The figures in this series are positioned in gestures that signal these emotional states.
Larger-than-life-size nude bodies wear the minimal “personal protective gear” of mask and gloves. Arc lines encase each isolated figure in webs that visually link each canvas in the series to the others. Translucent acrylic washes and splatters suggestive of infectious transmission provide muted layers of color over gestural marks of charcoal and graphite.
Psychology shows that rational thinking and information processing are difficult to maintain when the emotionally reactive, instinctive mind is triggered. Partially dissolved, confusing and incomplete snippets of the pathophysiology, symptoms and complications of CoVid-19, along with schematic diagrams of the SARS CoV-2 virus surround each overwhelmed figure with faint echoes of the medical science and data about this devastating disease.
On a personal note: Before I transitioned to a career in the arts, my professional background included medical training. I was a medic in the USAF, and a Licensed Practical Nurse. I have several years of hands-on experience caring for the sick and dying.