Alannah Ferry (aged 18)

Portrait of The Pandemic

Scrap metal, solder, Newspaper clippings printed during the COVID-19 lockdown, PVA glue, marbles, voice recorder chip, fishing wire, mask, steel wool, clay, nail polish, and glitter on canvas

Alannah says: "I adore making art. After swapping from Geography to Art in my Leaving Cert cycle, I gained a large interest in art history. I then began painting with artist Maura Flanagan at the Seomra Dathana studio in Letterkenny, Donegal. This was a catalyst to my art journey. My preferred medium is oil paint. I have made realistic oil landscapes and portraits, but after watching a Picasso documentary as part of an online art history lesson (due to the school closures in March!) I wanted to experiment with other materials and break away from my typically realist style to try and convey the pandemic that has struck all our lives.

Inspired by Picasso’s Guernica, I used simple forms and features to portray sadness in the sculpture. The canvas portrays major events of the pandemic, spread out in collage as if the thoughts of the sculpture have escaped all around the canvas. The piece contains words that have become the new norm like 'social-distancing', 'panic-buy', 'lockdown', and over 50 coronavirus symbols as if the artwork itself has contracted the virus. During lockdown I pierced my own ear and the sculpture wears the matching earring! There is an audio component to this sculpture which is my “Sonnet Covid-19” poem which gives this piece its own voice."

This portrait is accompanied by audio. Listen to the audio track, or read a transcript below:


Sonnet Covid-19

Viruses are parasites
Oft’ smaller than bacteria 
Cannot be seen in plain sight 
Yet are causing mass hysteria,
Unable to be seen 
They live in a host body 
Can be defeated with a vaccine 
Or a complex anti-body 
Viruses have DNA ,a source of genetic material,
Some are microscopic murderers,
Like COVID-19-Serial 
Many have fought it, since its arrival,
To protect our friends and families,
From its threat -Viral-

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