Ongoing mixed media self-portraiture series—Isolation— was conceived during the COVID-19 lockdown in March 2020.

Isolation explores the meaning and feelings one attaches to being physically isolated through the mediums of self portraiture and digital art. With an emphasis on caring for our mental health, our permanent journey towards self-acceptance and finding comfort in our own company, the series is a portrayal of varied emotional experiences during this time.

This series is for everybody who feels the heaviness of being alone, like their walls are closing in, like they haven’t had real human contact since this began, for everybody who is going through this by themselves. I feel like we are all living in our personal fish bowl, trying our hardest to keep the fragile walls of our being from crumbling.

The experience we are going through can feel lonely, comforting, empowering, anxious, peaceful, unhealthy, constraining, unhappy, addictive, fearful, unpredictable, demotivating, calming, ordinary, resentful, depressing, hopeful, hopeless. For every feeling and every version of it, the series encourages the viewer to know that they are not alone.

My works Building Floor are Fish Bowls 001, 002 & 003 question the concept of home as a place of solace and peaceful existence. Homes often manifest as threatening confined spaces for victims of abuse and those struggling with their mental health, with the current situation offering them no escape. My work is an act of empathy towards those struggling during this time.

My works Swimming [in isolation] in this series, explore what it is like to feel lonely and to feel alone. I tapped into these feelings from my personal experience when swimming. Although I have been swimming since I was three, for a very small part of my childhood I’d swim competitively. Since I was little I have always loved to swim and it is something that remains a cherished activity. Yet, when swimming in the pool, around 35 meters or so into a 50 meter lap, especially in an empty pool, I’d experience a strange sense of being alone, completely solitary. The feeling was at times unsettling, at times calming. It was accompanied by the clarity of not being able to get myself anywhere until I move my own arms and legs and as long as I move my arms and legs. As much as I love them, till date water bodies make me feel this way, be it pools, oceans, lakes, seashores. They make me feel small and helpless yet powerful and independent at the same time. This series is shaping up with this sense of vulnerability and strength and the duality between them.

EXHIBITED BY

MARKAJ ART online
based in ANKARA, TURKEY — may, 2020

GALLERY LANE COVE online
based in SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA — june, 2020