Emerging, blinking, from the long shadow cast by the pandemic, into the sunlight of Summer 2020, it was possible to experience the most familiar of scenes and settings in new ways.
Observing and recording a post-pandemic populace at play: mingling in crowds, on seafronts, beaches, and tourist attractions - seemingly without a care in the world - was at once both immediately familiar and vastly strange. So many people apparently felt able to embrace a “return to normality” - maskless, moving in great social packs; whereas I clung to the cautious comfort blankets of my mask, hand sanitizer and social distance.
So themes of distance and alienation became stronger: ironically illustrated in the huge throng of bodies that were suddenly everywhere. This subsequent body of workLife, Twice Removed records this experience in its layers of bodies. Scenes which, at first glance, record holiday scenes in postcard colours, start to reveal their claustrophobic tensions.
The multiplicity of layers fracture and distort, providing visual inconsistencies, that lead to a sense of dis-ease, something off-kilter, imperfect; a world viewed through a distorted pane of glass or a cracked mirror. The “new normal” implications of concepts such as ‘distance‘ and ‘alienation’, of many bodies in a space, force the viewer to consider these images in fresh and more complex ways. The visual confusions in my work document this. ~ Mellony Taper, October, 2020.