Within the first few months that I moved to Belfast last year, I found this old biology textbook at a local charity shop and I knew that it would make for a fantastic sketchbook someday. Little did I know that it’ll be March of this year when I finally start using it, as all of my art paraphernalia becomes locked away within Ulster University due to lockdown. The Coronavirus pandemic isn’t over yet, but I have been steadily weaning myself off from using this book since early September.
This document of my personal experiences lends itself to an intimate record, of our new reality, that is universal in scope. There’s trepidations about food shortages, as still life observations. Private portraits of loved ones, whom I have still mostly only seen via video chat. And ordinary materials, like the red sharpie from my pencil case, became my tools. I drew a line at the top of every page for a new day when I heard sirens. For the day that I started recording the sirens, there are four red lines. The most red lines that I’ve drawn in a day were 20. Not a single day passed when I drew less than three lines.
The time has come to move on though, and continue making forever new impressions of our ever changing world. As part of this new exploration, in my professional studio work I have created my first video performance piece and will be sharing some outtakes and bloopers with you all very soon. I hope that my work will retain the ability to ignite a smile, no matter how unprecedented things might become yet again.