ARTIST: SETH FLAUM
COUNTRY: SOUTH AFRICA
MATERIALS USED: WATEROLOUR on PAPER

We have been stuck in our houses for what seems like an eternity. How long has it been? Days? Weeks? Months? When last were we able to connect intimately with those that do not live under the same roof as we do? The days seem to repeat themselves. I wake up and do the same thing I did the day before. I look forward to tomorrow even though I know it will be a mere repetition of today. It’s a cycle of grey that I just cannot escape. All I can do is distract myself from myself until the day is over, and then tomorrow I’ll do the same, and the day after that ill repeat the same strategy. Over and over. Again, and again and again and again.

 

My friends, the paintbrush and the pencil seem to be my only source of relaxation, and with them, all I can do is express my feelings of epidemic loathing. This artwork, “Cabin fever” is a messy expression of my feelings of deep melancholy I am experiencing during this isolation. It is an ink and masking fluid self-portrait of myself as I zone out, deep in thought, staring through space and past the trees. Into oblivion, I am as still as the moon. It is as though I am in a prison cell, the window frame a caging metal bar, that stops me from running away. Although nature outside still contains a strong sense of calm and beauty, I have no access to it. It is a forbidden fruit that I so long to eat but can’t. I can merely glance at the beauty to give my eyes something to look at, but there is a lost connection between what I see and how it makes me feel. Isolation has caused my mind to fragment into millions of segments, unable to join together to form clarity. The fragments of the trees and sky seen in the reflection of the window are a representation of my thoughts and my mind. It’s all over the place, out of touch with society and conventional living. I am trapped.

 

Alas, despite my forever growing feelings of isolation, I am able to finally find myself. Who I am without influence from outside parties. I am finding myself more and more through each passing day that I am interacting with me and only me. With every stipple of my pencil and every flow of my brush, I am able to dig deeper into a sense of independence. I am coming to the realization that I need no outside appreciation or recognition. All I need is me and my brush and I’ll be just fine.