November 5th- November 30th, 2021
Since the rise of the pandemic, my daily energy and time are disproportionately focused on household management: meal planning, shopping, disinfecting, assisting kids in online school, conflict mediation, and treating my own neurological health problems. I am left with minutes for art a week so I make signs. I can’t go anywhere, and time to myself can only be grasped in spurts while my travel is mostly limited to the mountains above and the cemetery below. I begin to draw myself while at the kitchen table as my children do online schoolwork. Art is a matter of augenblicks while my family’s well-being as well as my own takes precedence above all other needs.
Community both in large and small structures breaks, changes, and strengthens my heart in many forms because existing within the pandemic requires a constant state of perspective recalibration as well as a barrage of my own rebirths. COVID-19 is a test of resilience, trust, and acceptance of self and others. It is an investigation of spectrums of emotions and affiliations. It is a respite from musts and a reconfiguring of wants. Relationships alter with some strengthening, a handful weakening, and others ending. It is a time of mourning as well as a time for morning. All a gift.
SIGNS of the TIMES is a culmination of my work during the pandemic. My traffic signs, banners, and Kaethe Kollwitz inspired self-portraits act as signifiers of my collective experience from 2020 to the present.
- Susan Krueger-Barber