Waiting for This to End: My “Pandemic days” Project
During my art practice, I ruminate on an emotion brought upon by a personal or global issue — like my recurrent concern about the climate crisis. When the pandemic took over our lives, my full attention shifted to this new global calamity, its immediate and long-term consequences. In the beginning, creating any type of art felt superfluous, not at the height of these bizarre and dramatic times. I felt stuck and uninspired. While trying to find a way to create amid such extraordinary times, I came across the collection of small boxes I hoarded in my studio over the past few years. Too pretty and too sturdy to be tossed away, I knew I would eventually upcycle them.
It did not take long to imagine these receptacles as metaphors for what was happening to everyone during this pandemic: we were locked in our places. Time stopped. Plans were stalled. Some of us found humor in the newfound home-bound scenario. Others feared. We were forced to dwell in these unclear and ever-changing sentiments, a mix of awe, fear, anger, sadness, frustration, and despair. The virus took root in our new normal as the deaths continued to rise on every corner of the planet. Uncertainty took over our world.
Working on these boxes kept me focused on the feelings I was experiencing and sensing from those in my global family. I painted these varied-sized boxes gold with acrylic, collaged with paper images of my mixed media “Waiting for this to end” painting, and I wrote on them. The words, phrases or quotes on each of the boxes were either personal expressions or things heard during the early pandemic days (March – May 2020), loosely organized within the five stages of grief (denial, anger, depression, bargaining and acceptance), as proposed by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross in her 1969 book On Death and Dying.
These golden boxes evoke people sequestered as a result of quarantine or stay-at-home recommendations: some hopeful while enjoying more privileged shelter-in-place conditions, some desperate for the crisis to be over and put an end to an even worse reality than that of infection, or even the thousands of victims that did not and will not survive the Covid-19 pandemic of 2020.
This collection is intended to bring perspective, even humor, and ultimately hope to the viewer during the ongoing crisis, and to eventually serve as an homage to its fighters, to those of us who will not survive it, and to those of us who will be left once this pandemic is finally over. Visit Adriana’s website for purchase information.
Copyright © 2020 Adriaa G. Prat
Adriana G. Prat is an academically trained scientist from Argentina, that after moving to the USA became a visual artist. Her boldly colored and layered, oil- or acrylic-based non-representational paintings are produced during a process akin to meditation. She has shown at open studios, galleries, alternative spaces, and museums, in both Argentina and the greater Boston area, and, through a recent residency in Iceland. When not at her Cambridge studio or traveling, Adriana welcomes visitors to a shared studio in the Boston SOWA art district.