October 31, 2020

Dear Covid 19, would you like to see my existential crisis?

Roddy McKenzie

Photography - printed using platinum/palladium processWhite Lily, 2020A series of 6 photographs sized 8x8 inches.

Six photographs that helped me make sense of the covid crisis without bringing comfort or reassurance. Nest: home, it seems a place so often lightly held, children and others have been exiled and home feels all the more precious and yet all the more empty. Feathers: we resort to mythmaking, angels and heroes are resurrected. But these are ordinary people doing extraordinary things and they are more vulnerable than most. Agonisingly, they know they represent a risk to their loved ones. Those wings and capes are uncomfortable, resented even. Cowrie: a shell associated with currency. This virus causes us to reflect on precisely who and what is valuable in our lives; that health is more important than wealth and how close to the edge of poverty many people are living. Fragile indeed. Fern: a reference to the lungs, the breath. But also the spine, because backbone, courage – that’s what I think of when I think of ‘front-line workers’. Flour: our capacity to create new rituals: applause as prayer? We panic buy basic foodstuffs denying them to others. Lily: forever a funereal flower. The tragedy of those who died alone and for those who whose grief is a terrible weight.