Joan Ramsey Harker
Covid-19 Artist Statement

As a retired pensioner who lives alone, after many weeks and months of the new reality, my creative life has been changed very little by the pandemic. I always work in isolation, sometimes with great enthusiasm, sometimes in the emptiness of faltering inspiration.

Before it began I was enjoying more outings each week than I can hardly remember now. Best of all was attending Aquafit three mornings a week in the Rec Centre pool, and joining participants at McDonalds for coffee after. I was enjoying the companionship, through email and meetings of the Thursday Artists. I was working with my personal trainer twice a week, and seeing my massage therapist once a week. Three times daily walks with my dog brought outdoor meeting with friends in the Strata where I live. Conversations with long distance friends and relatives broadened my world. All this with the normal shopping routines and regular trips to the bank and the library rounded out my social contacts satisfactorily.

With many of those activities now out of reach, and the attractions of television waning rapidly, I began to seek creative inspiration.

  • I searched through existing work to see if individual paintings cried out to be modified, a regular bad habit of mine. That way lies the destruction of good work and bad.
  • I ransacked the clip files I always compile for future inspiration, and pulled out some to try.
  • I searched my old sketch books for ideas to develop further.
  • I reviewed old I ideas I had always wanted to explore.

After several false starts I decided that Collage, always a favourite medium, would be a good place to start.

From the clip files grew Paper Dolls a series of works on 12” x 12” board. The first two works I had always intended to try. Further works then reflected the rules of the pandemic that were drummed into us on the daily, hourly news. It was fast and fun and something never intended for sale.

From there I moved on to Further Collage, from a collection of materials rescued from a Print Making Workshop. These became the second series shown here on 8” x 10” canvases.

Since then I have returned to larger acrylic landscapes on canvas, and it is good to come home.