Lockdown print exchange challenge
Little kids, confined space, no escape! “Lockdown in the Quoll Den” is my interpretation of our past weeks in strict lockdown. I think most mums with young ones can relate!
It seems odd, but as our region enters its eighth week of a Covid-19 lockdown, I feel more connected to my supportive printmaking group than ever. How so?
Since the beginning of 2021, with a new baby to look after, I hadn’t been able to attend the weekly meetings of my printmaking work group with the Artists’ Society of Canberra. Despite my inclusion in the occasional email, I somehow felt like my print friends were continuing their journey without me. I was on my own in my mini-studio at home, usually sleep deprived, and with little artistic feedback from my fellow printmakers.
But now, every one of us is stuck at home! And with constant email chatter and the occasional online catch-up of all our latest printmaking, I feel like a full member of the group again! It is quite nice, actually.
Recently, someone in our group came up with the idea of a mini-print exchange among ourselves. Theme: Lockdown. Size 12 x 12 cm (to fit a CD cover case). It’s been amazing seeing some of the creations emerging, with everyone (including our ‘remote’ member currently living in Germany) experiencing this year in a different way. I’ve displayed some of the groups’ prints below.
My own lockdown experience has been interesting. With three little boys, aged 7, almost 5, and only a few months old, trying to juggle their needs (and my own and my husband’s) has been challenging. My days are typically taken up just feeding and entertaining the kids. Home schooling has had limited success. Keeping the big boys quiet while bub is napping, or when my husband (who is working from home) is lecturing an online class, is one of my biggest challenges. On some days I haven’t even entered my mini-studio-space.
We live right next to a wonderful nature reserve / wildlife sanctuary. It has provided the inspiration for my portrayal of my own lockdown experience. The reserve houses a thriving population of the threatened eastern quoll (Dasyurus viverrinus). These amazing animals have been extinct on mainland Australian since the 1960s, so we are very lucky to have them living behind the predator-proof fence of Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary. Quoll mums raise litters of around six pups, double the number of my active little fellows!
My linocut print design incorporates my confined home experience and also reflects our neighbours at Mulligans Flat, where we spend a lot of our designated ‘outdoor exercise’ time. It’s been pointed out to me that eastern quolls don’t actually have spots on their tails (like my ones do). Yes, I may have gotten carried away with the spots! But I think the print’s message still gets across, despite scientific inaccuracy. I hope you enjoy this little reminder of the year 2021 as much as I do.