Both Europe and North America are slowly emerging from the long shadow of the Covid-19 pandemic, a tragedy that has claimed the lives of some six million souls worldwide.
Few of us knew what to expect when reports of the pandemic first began; after all, few humans alive today are unused to the natural world lashing out at us with such anger. Nature is beautiful, and we live well within her realm…but she can reduce our belief in mankind’s superiority quickly when we feel her fury. In fact, the pandemic was simply another chapter in a long history of disease and death that has stalked the human condition since its inception.
Few of us are untouched by the pandemic; we have all lost loved ones, friends, and others close to us. Most of us know others who survived the virus, but are now dealing with the debilitating damage the virus left behind in human hearts, lungs, and bodies.
We don’t yet know the full measure of what we have lost because of the pandemic, but it has had a cost to each of us. Some have lost income and depleted savings, others have lost opportunity. And some are still processing the pain of social isolation imposed on us.
Few of us have had the opportunity to come together in our communities and go through the human rituals of mourning our loss. Indeed, the collective relief that the pandemic has finally receded has left many with the desire to simply put the experience behind us and relegate it to the distant past as quickly as possible. Forgetting, as Milan Kundera once noted, is as human a balm as any other.
Model Becky Spotts and I wanted to capture some of the pain and uncertainty that the pandemic has left us with; at once a feeling of disorientation, anger, anxiety, vulnerability, and loss. The resulting images are intended as allegory for those unresolved impulses, those scars left behind on the way we see and relate to the world as individuals.
We hope, buried in shades of white, black, and grey, we can recognize parts of our own souls, and perhaps start our own healing.