I honestly couldn’t have expected, when I was first developing the work that would go into The Things We Lost, not only my first Solo Exhibition, but also one fraught with personal meaning and symbolism, that just two years later, discourse on finding a ‘New Normal’ would be so prevalent in popular culture. These are the COVID-19 times that we live in. Maybe the Universe was just trying to keep me ahead of the curve, as I have sometimes suspected that it does.
The first time I heard the phrase ‘New Normal’ in this context was one of my many dark-night-of-the-souls, lying in a hospital bed complaining to one of my fantastic nurses that I didn’t think I could ever feel normal again. Replying with their usual supernatural foresight I remember their response like it was yesterday.
“You won’t feel normal, but eventually you’ll get to used to your ‘New Normal'”
“Yeah, Sure.” I thought, knowing that I couldn’t have felt further from any kind of normal, and that I had no intention of letting my present predicament begin to feel any kind of normal.
Of course I was wrong, and I did eventually stop feeling like such an oddity. I settled back into an existence where the benefits of what I had been through became more apparent. Spoiler alert; I did eventually find my new normal, and that became the basis of the exhibition “The Things We Lost.”
Now, talk of a ‘New Normal’ is in the common consciousness, for better or for worse. As some reach fever pitch with the lockdowns, and others double down on their commitment at keeping themselves and others safe we are all trying to work out what the lockdown means for us and our families.
There are no easy answers to a lot of these questions, so I’ve reverted to form, and am now using art to try to figure out where I am, and what I can be doing to help during this lockdown. On my store you can find ‘Unnecessary Journeys’, of meme queen Teresa Mannion. The illustration was originally developed for inclusion in my friend Katie Ravenscraig’s Quarantine Zine, which is available for purchase here, but is now included in my online store, with proceeds going to the COVID-19 Relief Fund.
As always, I hope you’re all staying safe, and I look forward to seeing everyone again soon.