As the pandemic progressed, I delved into personal research: I began a genealogical search for ancestors, rummaged through my late mother's collection of handwritten recipes and recipe books, and foraged through family photos. At the same time, I was cleaning through years of collected papers, handwritten notes, cards, and documents. I began to photocopy notes, recipes and photos onto the blank backs of these documents. I painted some with vivid colours, others I soaked in solutions of strong tea or coffee. I didn't quite know where this was headed, but it became a mission to recycle and reuse these materials in my artwork.
Another daily activity was blind contour sketching the fresh bouquets I began buying to brighten my mood during isolation. I used these sketches as the basis for a new series of miniature collage pieces.
In this series, neutral backgrounds mirror the blandness of isolation, but hint at memories and experiences hidden, forgotten, emerging into the present. The dynamic compositions reflects the chaos, confusion and uncertainty of the time, and finally, the bright, vibrant colours of the flowers remind us of the joys of new discoveries: new or renewed interests, friendships, relationships, awareness, and meaningful moments of resilience and joy.
The pandemic returned us, for a short time, to simpler lives, to shared experiences, to historical lessons. It was a time of remembering, of reckoning, and of renewal. And these Isolation Relics are a testament of that time.
The following works are some of the first pieces in this ongoing series.
All images ©2022 Joanne Dero
|isolation relic 1|
|isolation relic 5|
|isolation relic 11 - unfinished|