When the Covid-19 pandemic hit in March 2020, Cornish sought out an alternative approach to documenting the emotional chaos
In Australia, the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020 correlated with the end of the ‘Black Summer’: the 2019-20 bushfires. “The sense of uncertainty and grief throughout the country was palpable,” says artist Angela Cornish. “Smoke filled the city sky, then only a few weeks later supermarkets were sold out of canned goods, pasta and toilet paper. I remember the first time I saw an ad for facemasks on social media, and it felt like the world had shifted into a new reality.”
Cornish wanted to document this moment, but rather than photographing empty streets and supermarkets, she sought out an alternative approach to image-making. “[I thought it] may better capture the emotional chaos I felt and witnessed around me,” she says, explaining how she used a process called Lumen printing, in which objects are placed on top of expired silver gelatine paper, and exposed to sunlight.
Four images from the resulting project, titled Essence, are now included in Edition365: an immersive virtual exhibition and NFT drop from ART3. Cornish chose objects that have become symbols of the pandemic – such as rubber gloves and face masks – to create abstract, expressive renderings. “[The objects] are a barrier between us and the virus,” she explains. “They have left their imprint on these lumen prints, and on our psyche. I believe my work represents a collision of the tangible and intangible aspects of ‘the year that changed everything’.”
Angela Cornish’s images are included in Edition365, an immersive virtual exhibition of 365 works documenting the events between 11 March 2020 and 10 March 2021.
The images are now available to buy as NFTs via ART3.io on OpenSea.