COVID Companions is a series of creative pieces featuring snippets of life during COVID-19, with a special focus on the other individuals or creatures who are keeping us company during quarantine, lockdown, ‘circuit breaker’, or whatever your equivalent might be. Singaporean artist and educator, Mary Bernadette Lee (Mrydette)shares a chain of email exchanges with strangers, inviting connection over the digital realm during a time when intimacy and relating to others acquire new meaning.
‘Love in the Time of Corona’ is a visual response to goodwill tidings from strangers through email. I understood it to be an initiative to encourage and lift the spirits of fellow strong womenkind during this pandemic. I like to think that these emails were like companions to me, comforting me with messages I needed to get through during this strange time. It is a visual diary chronicling my inner consciousness and awakening; a sober realisation and sincere appreciation for what I have, who I am and how I am becoming.
COURAGE TO GROW
I BELONG, WHEREVER I AM
DUST TO DUST
LOVE IS A VERB
IMPOSSIBLE IS POSSIBLE
EVERYTHING WITH HEART AND FAITH
FAITH IS LIGHT IS GUIDE
To conclude, what started out as an ordinary attempt to get back into the rhythm of creating turned into a new completed body of personal work – self-portraiture in some symbolic way – something which I haven’t been able to do since 2015. I learnt that my body is a house with many rooms. It is a home, and I am coming home to myself, opening new doors I never knew was there. I realised this is the conversation I needed with myself for a long time and in doing so, I have gained clarity about myself. Everything I need is within me; who I am, where I need to go, and how to go about it, it is much clearer to me now.
I believe that beginnings and endings are one and the same; They are transitions, metamorphosis. Be patient. Time is everything as with now is the time for everything.
Mary Bernadette Lee (Mrydette) is based as an artist in Singapore. She is an artist, educator, illustrator, co-creator, observer & collector of information & experiences through collaborations with communities.
Her artistic practice takes the phenomenological approach investigating relationships between body, architecture and space, and psychological states relating to Self, Identity and Home. This relational dialectics between the physiological and the psychological is expressed through her works that foreground the architecture of her as a person and an artist.
Her works manifest in paintings, illustrations, linocut prints, monoprint prints, woodcut prints, clay sculptures, textile installation, and publication. Mary graduated from the National University of Singapore with a BA in English Literature and Communications & New Media in 2006. She also graduated from Nanyang Technological University School of Art, Design and Media in 2014 with a BFA (Hons) in Visual Communication.