Interpreting the Self in Quarantine #1

Our new series on the site, Interpreting the Self in Quarantine allows artists to explore how their relationship to themselves has altered in this time

This virus has touched the lives of us all. It is indiscriminate; however, it’s effects are anything but. Poorer communities are hit harder by the stay at home measures and living conditions mean they are more likely to be exposing themselves to greater risks. These are worrying times for the vulnerable, elderly, homeless and refugees. That is why my current perception of self feels so conflicted. It is a sickening mixture of pleasure and guilt. The collage I have created uses an economist magazine issue, which highlights the inequalities of Corona but the dancing couples is from a book about Dartington Hall, an experimental project in alternative living. I live amongst swathes of fields, where lambs are taking their first steps and the hedgerows are days away from bursting into flower. The warm weather has let me be out in the garden, staying grounded as the world freefalls. I am content in the sense of community that has grown with the people I live with and our neighbours. This sentiment will not be shared by many, especially if home is no refuge, and refuge is the fragments of a tent over your head. These couples, like me, are protected by privilege. Umbrellas that will not shield us entirely from this tragedy but nevertheless, will let us weather the storm. 

As with everything in life and now more than ever, it is important that those of us with privilege must use it to hold up others. So if you can, donate, volunteer, clap at eight and stay at home.

Ayelen Sprent