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Art in Quarantine — Clintel Steed

UMBIGO invited several artists to reflect on the era we are living in and to think about their artistic production in quarantine times.

Project by the artist Clintel Steed.

Clintel Steed, (Covid-19-4-5-2020), 2020

I started these drawings as basically a reaction to the shock of what was starting to unfold. But over time they have become a journal to me.

Before the pandemic I had gotten a book on C.G. Jung, titled Psychology and Alchemy. As a painter I have always been interested in this idea of one thing turning into another. This book has taken me even deeper into this history. A lot of images and these ideas come from the 1500-1600s, and this book covers the symbolism of the Mandela, to individual dreams and their relationship alchemy. It talks about meditation and the imagination. Religion as a form of Alchemy.

This search in us has always captivated me. This need to understand the unknown and grasp the light beyond the universe. As the pandemic started to spread I began to look at these images a bit differently. As I watched Covid-19 sweep through Italy and I saw the images and heard the stories, the more powerful these images became. So as I transcribe them, they become a metaphor for me, to express things that words could never adequately describe. This pandemic resonates on so many layers, where it has affected us on all kinds of levels and it still remains to be somewhat of a mystery. So in the end I hope these images can speak for themselves and express the words I can’t find. It’s amazing to me that even though these pieces were made in the 1500s, they still burn with energy in 2020 and it shows how many of us or how we as a species have not changed that much.

I just hope and pray we learn from this and maybe for once instead of evolving on the surface we will evolve profoundly on the inside and use 50% of our brain instead of 15!

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