The Virus Chronicle. Covid-19. Gleason. 2020-2021. (Supported by ACNI and the Artist's Siap Emergency Grant).
These mixed media drawings are part of a large series of drawings called 'The Virus Chronicle' (Covid-19) . They represent a personal visual diary of ideas and feelings I have had during the various lock down periods 2020-2021. Sometimes with humour, sometimes with great sadness at the loss of life, at other times observing the unfolding of events as they occurred. I see them also as social document for the future. Part of my motivation for the project was that I fall into the age group more at risk from the virus and basically confined to my home till restrictions were eased. This motivated me to take the approach of necessity being the mother of invention and I turned to mixed media works on paper. As Joseph Beuys said Art can be made with the humblest of tools. I was inspired by many Old and Modern Masters who lived themselves through plagues and in recent times, the Spanish Flu. The work covers my deepest respect for all front-line workers-NHS, and families who lost loved ones. I have observed and recorded the daily grind of shopping at dedicated times, the humour of indoor exercising, trying to social distance if the door was knocked and a package left at a distance, hands have never been so clean in my lifetime. The Covid-19 symbol appears in many of the works I have made, floating nearby, an ever-present threat, unseen to the naked eye.
Artist: Gerry Gleason. 2020.