A Pandemic Landscape, March 1-May 17, 2020 (2020) consists of fifty-one pieces, one for every U.S. state and the District of Columbia. The shapes were based on graphs published as part of the "Where U.S. Coronavirus Cases are on the Rise" article in The New York Times (May 18, 2020 by Chris Canipe and Lisa Schumaker); the graphs represented the number of cases per state between March 1 and May 17 of that same year.
Each state/piece has a unique textile, every textile having been produced somewhere in the U.S., an intentional choice representing how the virus was fully replicating and spreading within our country by the time I began the work in mid-May of 2020; the virus' main spread was no longer due to individuals bringing it into the United States. At the time, I had read that most of the U.S. spread originated from New York (where people then traveled out across the country), which is where I acquired all the textiles in late December 2019. The textiles are ironically very tactile at a time when human contact was reduced or eliminated to reduce COVID’s spread (for ex. the inability to hug or touch someone not living in your own safety bubble).
When I began the series, I was still processing the enormity of the pandemic and was self-isolating, so making each piece became a way to process the reality of the situation (individual and collective) - trying to get through the unknown and anxiety one day at a time. As the pieces are abstract, they potentially can be read as something other than the original source for their shapes, similar to our trying not to think about COVID 24/7; yet the pandemic is always present during those moments in which we are distracted and not actively thinking about it.
The sequence in which the pieces are placed is based on the lowest to highest number of cases as of May 17, 2020, with the mountain range composition simulating the overall "ups and downs" of cases (which we continue to see within states and across the country). When displayed in one continuous line, the extensive, textile panorama mimics the longevity of the pandemic. As a landscape, the work also provides a substitute vista beyond that which many people were limited to in 2020 when they were trapped in their homes and/or unable to travel and experience other locations.