Crow 1 – Siblings
Rosmond Kinsey Milner
Charcoal and pastel on heritage paper
85 x 59 cm
“Creativity is being alive. Stopping is giving up on life. Drawing has occupied me and preoccupied me all through the pandemic, filled my days and made the weeks and months speed by.”Rosmond Kinsey Milner
Rosmond’s Lockdown Story
‘Crow 1 – Siblings… March 2020, was made at the start of lockdown as a meditation on a childhood memory of sisters playing together in a sunny back-yard, innocent of what the future would bring. The crow in this case is a harbinger of early mortality.
Crow 2 – Self-portrait (still wearing red lipstick under the mask)… April 2020, was made as I isolated alone, intensely conscious of one of the most beautiful springs I can remember opening around me, in stark contrast to the dark statistics of the pandemic. It is partly drawn over texts from La Peste by Camus and Le Monde of 18 March, as a planned trip to Paris had to be cancelled. The Latin name for the carrion crow is corvus corone, of course, and the bird here obviously represents Covid-19.
Lockdown has distilled my life into what really matters, I guess – my children, grandson and close friends, and my drawing. Unsurprisingly, it’s made me even more intensely aware of the fragility of life and my own mortality as I reach my mid-seventies. However, I’ve remained surprisingly positive except when I had shingles in the first two weeks of isolation. In terms of mental health, I will find it hard to re-emerge. I have a lot of contact virtually, zooming life drawing, giving two talks on zoom, exchanging comments on Instagram, messaging and video calls and I am not eager to re-establish the busy life I had pre-pandemic – out almost every day to exhibitions, to life classes, volunteering at Kenwood House. Isolation has brought out the recluse in me.
Creativity is being alive. Stopping is giving up on life. Drawing has occupied me and preoccupied me all through the pandemic, filled my days and made the weeks and months speed by. I always strive to improve and to achieve more. Isolation without a creative outlet during these traumatic times must have been overwhelming, particularly for those with no career distractions, living alone.
It’s given me more time to develop ideas and techniques, more time to think about artwork, more time to engage with making.’
Text and images © Rosmond Kinsey Milner