Experiencing Isolation With Our Guest Writer: Mia Risberg
I am not pollyannaish by nature, so it came a little bit as a surprise to me that I’ve experienced several positive things during the Covid-19 pandemic. It’s something I have been thinking about often in the past several months. I feel lucky in many ways. My family and I are currently healthy, my husband has job security, and we live in a house large enough that he and I, and our kids, can find space (sometimes from each other!) when we feel cooped up. Perhaps it is that perspective that has helped. Perhaps, as an artist, one is already accustomed to spending so much time working alone that it’s a little easier to adapt? Or maybe it’s a bit of both. I’m not sure I know the answer but it’s been interesting to think about.
I miss having dinner or drinks with my friends. Hugging them. I miss going to gallery openings and striking up conversations with people. Standing in someone else’s proximity.
If life is a road, I’ve been thinking of the pandemic as a big bump (probably surrounded by potholes!) but ultimately something we can look back on as a relatively short period of time.
Some things I appreciate that have helped combat isolation are the associations I’ve made through social media. I’ve invested more time in connecting with others virtually, and I’ve been lucky to have opportunities come from that. Another positive thing to come from the isolation is the quieting and slowing down of time.
From a work perspective both of these things have been constructive. In my studio, it has felt like a good time to explore using different mediums. I’ve also worked with other artists at a distance on collaborative works, such as a Call and Response project, a Telephone thread, and an Exquisite Corpse piece and they have sparked new directions in my art.
I’ve sometimes been more introspective, thinking about magical realism, and considering my connection to nature which is always soothing and constant. In my imagery, I find myself superimposing a layer of optimism or surrealness over the mundane or complicated realities of life. Perhaps this serves as an escape but, if so, it has been a productive one, so I’ll continue to make the most of this isolation for now.