• Kirsty Smedley

Why does this feel like an apocalypse?

Updated: Apr 30, 2020

“04: 20 am. Day 5 in the big brother house. Kirsty is sat at the dining room table after going to bed far too early due to the lockdown over the fears of Coronavirus…”

Although part of this is true, I am on lockdown due to the fears over the current pandemic that is affecting the ENTIRE planet. I am not, however, stuck in the (now defunct) Big Brother house. Albeit maybe figuratively speaking.

This whole crazy situation has meant my final project for university and the previous issues that were informing them are no longer relevant. At least for now.

So here I am back to the drawing board, with less than two months to go and no means to travel, visit the library, have face to face discussions with my lecturers or photograph my subject. Brilliant.

I am trying to find some way to make the best of this situation, find a new subject that can be developed in spite of the conditions that have been imposed on my practice, but it all seems pretty futile at the moment.

I am obsessed with the news. As I’m sure we all are. Daily, more and more people are dying. People are panic buying ridiculous items in supermarkets. Boris Johnson looks like he has no idea what is going on and the main breadwinner in my household is self-employed. We have no idea how long this will last, if money will stretch and if loved ones will catch this potentially deadly illness and die. The anxiety over it all is deafening and everything else is silenced because of it.

My partner paints because it’s the only thing he knows how to do to try and earn a living without being in close proximity of a stranger. Ironically, they always seem to be skulls. Hes obsessed with life and death. Mainly dead things. Our house if full of paintings of human skulls, the actual skulls of animals and the hearts of birds long gone suspended in formaldehyde. I mean if this is the apocalypse and all is lost, he would most likely adorn my skeleton in jewels like the saints from the catacombs!

Can any of this inform my practice though? I’ve been spending my days misplacing my anxiousness over it all by deep cleaning my house and finishing the odd jobs, that a few weeks ago I couldn’t care less about, in the hopes that some divine intervention will occur and a brilliant idea will mystically pop into my head with a loud zap! It hasn’t yet.

On a plus note, my house plants are thriving, the dogs happy the packs at home all the time, and the weather has been spectacular. So, despite the ridiculously nihilistic overtones of all of this post, it could be worse.

Society as we know it has been destroyed but it will begin again. The world will go through its season of spring and hopefully we will all learn to not take health and freedom for granted. It will be like a rebirth. So maybe that’s the point that I start at?

Death, life and rebirth and what that means in today’s climate.

Maybe waking up at 4am with an anxious heart has its benefits afterall.

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