Pandemic Spring| Artichoke

Alke Schmidt
‘Pandemic Spring’ series

Artist site
Instagram: @alkeschmidtart

Artist Statement

Pandemic Spring” is an ongoing visual diary/archive that explores the contrast between the human Covid 19-world and the natural world. Looking at the signs of spring all around whilst in lockdown, I felt that the virus is cutting human activity (and our sheer numbers) down to a more sustainable size. The planet takes a break while we’re forced to reign in our frantic destruction.

Each day during April I printed off the latest graphs showing total confirmed coronavirus cases and deaths in 8 countries (UK, USA, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, South Korea, China) and then drew a plant emerging in my garden/neighbourhood/allotment over the printout. These signs of spring are sources of hope, joy and pleasure, but also reminders that we must not go back to our old planet-destroying, unsustainable habits when the pandemic is over.

Drawing from observation is immediate, slow, intimately connected to the subject and helps me understand the plants better. Drawing what I grow myself or find in my neighbourhood emphasizes local “roots” and connectedness. Finally, drawing nature over time visualises that nature continues in its own rhythm while we remain in limbo.

I am now continuing this series on a weekly basis as Pandemic Spring turns into Pandemic Summer.



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