Pin – with matchbox and text


On 23 March I began to detail the fact that I had completed a record of 24 hours in my life-as-an-artist. My ‘24 hours’ was a direct response to the fact that the corona virus (COVID-19) was, as the agent of a global crisis, far more important to me and to many many others than any wistful ruminations about exhibiting work in gallery shows. My ‘24 hours’ began with a focus on ‘V words’, on words beginning with the letter v.

Then, and rather unexpectedly, I was invited to begin a new project entitled ‘under(cover).’ Already, I had thought of the virus as ‘working away’ undercover …

However, just before learning about the ‘under(cover)’ project initiated by the lead tutor of the MA programme I had begun to create a micro ‘sculpture’ using mixed-media in relation to the immediate salience of the word ‘virus’; the word itself was a central source of energy for my ‘V’ and ‘V’ words project.

The title of the mixed-media piece is: ‘Pin – with matchbox and text.’ The text that I placed adjacent to the matchbox and pin tells us how many coronavirus entities can sit on a pin head. About the same amount would sit on the dot of the i in the letter virus.

For the sake of brevity I left out the following type written notes: Coronaviruses are so called because the projectiles that encircle the capsid (the protein coat) resemble a monarch’s crown when viewed under a microscope. The new coronavirus “COVID-19,” is the acronym of “coronavirus disease 2019”. COVID-19 has been described by the medical profession as a ‘very clever’ virus because, as we have all been told, it has found a way of entering a new host through the droplets projected outwards in the cough or sneeze of an infected person.

The above photo shows an early draft of the micro-sculpture that I submitted on March 27 this yearto the MA Fine Art lead tutor for the under(cover) project.

The text accompanying the project is deliberately subversive. I have little time for the ‘big is better’ ethos in art – or anywhere else. I have never forgotten Robert Hughes’ damning indictment of artists who exploit, the ‘vulgar expedient of size.’  My ‘Pin – with matchbox and text‘ states:  Small is beautiful; BUT small can be deadly. Undercover, out of sight, hidden – and very very small this new corona-virus can sit, in its millions, on a pin-head, trillions on the head of a match – and as many on the dot of the i in virus.

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