When we were all suddenly swept inside in March, I, like most, felt uneasy, displaced and cooped up. As a “filmmaker” and film major, I have often found solace in personal expression through moving image and sound, but with (what seemed like) doom upon us and a migration from in-person life to facsimiles on screens, creating videos no longer felt like a reprieve. It felt like work.
The idea of compiling components of a film and editing for hours on the same screen through which virtually all of my social interactions took place was beyond unappealing. My world had become so far removed from any basis of reality, and I found myself needing to do something tangible and real, something with my hands that would produce an end result with which I could physically interact away from outlets and power sources. With no access to dedicated art spaces, I arrived at drawing, a medium I absolutely hated as a young kid because I had zero ability to accurately represent the real. This time, I threw reality and representation to the wind, wrestling with the upending of our worlds. I invested in a notebook and some pens, and whenever I felt overwhelmed or disconnected, I would pop on a podcast or recordings of live concerts on YouTube and get lost in a meditative state of lines, shapes, colors, the feeling of ink on paper. I found solace and reminders of reality in meditations on abstraction, encountering a grounding force in an unlikely place. The resulting drawings now fill a red notebook I have started calling my COVID-19 therapy journal. It serves as a continuing reminder that physical, tangible reality can exist in an increasingly unrealistic world and that a project can be fulfilling even in dauntingly disrupted and unproductive times.
— Kathryn Antonatos ’22