Here are brief details of most of my Covid-era pieces – so far:
Starting from the first lockdown, being forcibly separated from my previous ‘normal’ helped (actually forced!) me to work with a range of new-to-me media – including installation, (prize-winning) film, mixed photo-drawing, and weaving.
I’ve used these to reflect on my ever-changing lived experience in the different Covid waves.
When I was shielding, I made a Safe as Houses installation in the only place I was allowed to be – my front room – with the only material I had – leftover packaging. Different elements from this have been included in multiple virtual exhibitions, including a digital group exhibition at the Socially Engaged Art Salon, Brighton.
I was invited to make a related short radio piece during the first wave: Malfunction.
My piece is at 23 minutes in https://hellogoodbyeshow.com/2020/05/26/playlist-one-minute-wonders-2020/
Then I was part of the Creativity from Home experimental residency exploring Unforgotten Flora.
Plants knit everything together in so many different ways in so many different societies. Despite all the evidence that climate and ecological catastrophes will continue to get worse — extractivism (including of plants) is still the way almost all of us live.
I shared videos about lemons, and oaks:
And here’s another video, pulling all my lemon and oak work together.
Check out the Iranian mountaineers trying out to put out fires in the oak forests of SW Iran by hand below – at 3.26
Or see more details at: http://www.carolinemawer.com/lemons-oaks-and-the-wood-wide-web/
I submitted One artist’s experience of the lockdown : a case study in the Arts, Health and Wellbeing Special Interest Group Newsletter, Royal Society pf Public Health, 2020: 1/3;8
And tried out Sit down Stand up comedy on Zoom. One of my jokes is the clip on the Extant website.
I’ve been lucky enough to be in places where the Milky Way feels so close that you might as well be swimming in it:
So I was very excited, during the first lockdown, to speak to people in the middle of Australia via an Artist talk at a webinar / live event in Alice Springs, Australia, as part of Desert Festival Australia.
It was nearly as exciting as actually Seeing Stars! Check out the video of the webinar here:
I was part of a video exquisite corpse, led by Sapphire Goss.
When I saw my starter prompt I knew I had to approach Hassan Akkad – he gave me permission to develop his White Cliffs of Dover speech on migrants.
Then I added a version of Turner’s Slave Ship – as an example of how powerful people blithely consign the less powerful to their doom.
So animated Boris Johnson throwing 30,000 of our elders ‘overboard’ when the UK government didn’t protect care home residents and workers in the first Covid wave.
Sapphire chose to edit out both the extent of the deaths, and also my cartoon of Boris ripping up international law as he gets Brexit ‘done’. The full one-minute video is up above.
This exquisite corpse was:
– Sept 2021: Shown at the Strangelove Festival
– Nov 2020: included in Moving Image Artists Journal. Issue 3
I was a finalist in the VOSAP Art from the Heart competition. With a photocollage Magnificent Multimorbidity below, plus some humorous digital collages – More than my immobility and The Blind cloning the blind plus a collage of photos in Blinkin Obvious . I’m looking in at some of the many eye diagnoses I have – and looking out at some of the gorgeous splendid amazing things I’ve seen.
Before my eyes changed, that is.
My weave was exhibited as part of Joygun Nehar’s section within In the Meantime.
Its 80 by 65cm.
In it, I’m free-swimming in the Kunene River. Hundreds of kilometres of onion-bag Namibian desert shrink to nothing when, out of nowhere, there’s a sudden smear of luscious green velvet plant-life, edging the languid aquamarine silk of the River. A huge bubbling plaited-corduroy waterfall is underpinned by turquoise plastic scaffolding-protectors. On the far side of the river, the gold-tipped highlands of Angola loom.
Pillars and Mirrors
I dreamed these photos / drawings up for the RCA’s In the meantime, when they asked me to create something from / with physically between the Story Garden and the Camden Arts Centre.
Scroll down to the pdf here – click on the far right, then look down for my name.
After the 100-year old trees in front of Euston Station – pillars of the local tree community – were murdered, their smaller neighbours lost the complex collaborative underground network of support they would have had from their elders.
Without the Wood Wide Web, they are effectively orphans.
How, I wonder, do they sense the giant ghosts? Were they – are they – simply stunned?
There are some other photos here, but take a look at this:
The trees here above are close enough to support each other.
I’ve seen them dancing together in such a neighbourly way in the strongest winds and rains.
Could you be more neighbourly? To your local trees? Or to your human neighbours?
When will you start the dancing?
Here are my words below.
Though I’m now only too aware that what originally felt like the outrageously enormous number of 100,000 daily Covid cases – was too small. I should have said TWO HUNDRED THOUSAND
I’m in a Cage
First time First wave that Cage looked best of a bad job to me
They could say they didn’t know
Didn’t know it wasn’t flu
Didn’t know we’re not a herd
Didn’t know all their care home discharges would kill THIRTY THOUSAND of your gran your grandad
Third time Third wave they Definitely know
Definitely know that putting their mate Dido in charge of 37 BILLION of your pounds bought NOTHING.
Nothing World Beating.
No test No trace.
Definitely know there’s MONEY not jail in PAYING CRONIES for PPE that isn’t Protective. Isn’t even Usable
And Definitely know to expect ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND Exit cases every day.
So, ICU overflow.
Don’t You worry though!
It’s Freedom day!
I’ve been making lots of images of the moon as i see it, with my special eyes.
I see multiple moonlets – while you, poor thing – probably see only one.
Though I could let you know that I dont truly see the bright colours – but instead a high glow version of what i think of as standard moon colour.
Look here to see more of my moonlets.
Just recently, i took part in a virtual residency with Mayes Creative: Ancient Materials above and below.
I wanted to build on my moonlets – and really enjoyed learning the earliest lunar photographs. And how these were seen in Stereographs : super-popular early versions of virtual reality.
I’m showing a digital work-in-progress here Stereoloon. A not-at-all facsimile of the lunar stereographs of the eminent Warren de la Rue – using my own paper collages.
I’m (still!) experimenting with how to get the glow of the real moon.
And here’s a work-in-progress looking much further away than the moon – including further away than is ever going to be possible to ‘see’.
A beginners ‘history’ of gravity is a digital collage salvaged from the internet:
I had to pull out of a real-life exhibition of Safe as Houses, with a fractured elbow.
And I was also having an eye operation – which I had once been told might lead to losing what was left of my vision altogether
It’s 1 m x 1.5 metres: a mix of my digital art and drawing, my photography, and images of x-rays of my chest and elbow
I’m especially proud of how – bearing in mind my Ridiculous levels of Disability – I managed to make something completely new really quickly by including some repurposed earlier ideas and images.
In a foreign language
I’ve got some great stuff started / happening soon too:
– First Wave: a five minute two-hander live performance – its going to be shown in a London Theatre in January
– Virtual reality with Jewyo Rhii’s team: we’ve started making a VR gallery showing some of my art (mainly trees and moons) in a VR room with a mirror – like the famous Persian / Greek / Chinese story. The mirror can convert into a video screen. The VR gallery leads into a 3d version of my real balcony (with its fruiting lemon tree and much much more) looking over a dystopian view from the ninth floor of UCH. Theres going to be a sunrise … and much more.