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The Experience of Living in a Time of Coronavirus
Phenomenological art created by psychology students at the University of West Georgia (, Explorations into Creativity class with Dr. Nisha Gupta Spring 2020)
“2020: The Deep End,” by Savannah Dacosta. Living in a time of Coronavirus has caused a major rift in our lives, these holes that many people have fallen into and lost their lives. This is Coronavirus with eyes with blood, a mask with little footsteps walking over to the promise land. After Coronavirus we will never be the same. We will always remember this.
“Existence” by Savannah Dacosta. Living in a time of Coronavirus is as if we are swimming through the ocean trying not to get too close to each other or we will sting each other with breathing bubbles.
“Living in a Time of Coronavirus,” by Daniel Thelisma. Living in a time of Coronavirus is frustrating!
“Only Protection” by Anonymous. The coronavirus has taken over all of our lives. Everywhere we go and everywhere we look is a new reminder of its effects on us. This collage is intended to convey the themes of fear/panic and change. There is not much we can do to protect ourselves besides wearing a mask, gloves, and washing our hands.
“Living in a Time of Coronavirus,” by Miranda McMillan. Creating this during a national epidemic proved quite challenging. I only had a few different colors of old paint that I had to mix and shake and dilute to actually become usable again. I had this old birdhouse in the garage, and decided to use it as a “canvas” to convey my feelings during this time of coronavirus. From my phenomenological research I uncovered themes of fear of contamination and a desire to isolate myself from the world. In my piece, the virus looms large over the house, which is decked out with caution tape and a giant padlock on the front door. It’s a pretty literal representation of how I think many of us are feeling during this time. Under normal circumstances, I’d have gone out and bought colored tea lights and props to really set a scene. For now, my dead fern, fireplace, and front garden (that desperately needs pine straw) will have to do.
“Blanket Me: A Covid19 Story” by Iris Brimm This video shows my passion for dance and how I have had to adjust it to quarantine conditions. This art also shows not to take the beauty of being outside for granted. I live in a small town and I sometimes get tired of living in the country. This experience has made me appreciiate the beauty of the dirt roads and backwoods.
“Embracing Smarts” by Alicia Boggs Living in a time of coronavirus involves constantly learning, acquiring knowledge, getting information, improving, and trying prioritize schoolwork.
“Living in a Time of Coronavirus” by Hannah Alexander (work-in-progress) This painting is of a photo I took in May last year. I have been feeling a lot of sadness about how different my summer is going. This time last year I was getting ready to experience the best summer of my entire life and now I am sitting on my couch trying to relive the moment as best as I can while painting it. I think the main idea of living in a time of coronavirus is that we really have no control over where we can go and what we can do during this time. I have been craving to go back here every single day, and I have had to stop myself from getting in the car and driving to Alabama to come to this exact spot and relive the best moments of my life. However, I obviously can not drive to Alabama right now because we are supposed to be staying home no matter what. It is finally my last semester and I wanted to make it my best, but instead I sit at home and paint this picture while reminiscing the times before this pandemic. I feel like living in a time of coronavirus is about living the same day over and over again and being trapped in a never ending void.
“My Very Own Emotional Tornado,” by Taylor Johnson This picture illustrates the internal pain suffered while living in a time of coronavirus. On the wall is a mirror and is a metaphor to how deep (or how many levels) suffering can get especially dealing with something as serious as the COVID-19 and the social distancing that’s going on. We’re born to be social butterflies, and we can’t even do that. BUT the pain depicted in this picture is from past hurt that I’m just now realizing I never healed from. So, the picture is a representation of healing.
“The Rainbow After the Storm” by Taylor Johnson This painting expresses hope that after the ugly healing process, there will be a rainbow signifying that the pain (storm/COVID) is over and a calming effect will take over. This is my end goal for after the healing process is over: I want to be at peace and happier internally as much as I am externally. This painting looks at COVID as a blessing in disguise, because who doesn’t need self-love and healing?
“Social Distancing Blues,” by Nisha Gupta Living in a time of coronavirus can feel very isolating, having to stay indoors to remain safe and protected from the panic-inducing threat of coronavirus which looms outside our windows across the wide open sky.
“Anxiety Restore,“ by Carleyann Patrick Living in a time of coronavirus involves mixed emotions within the “new normal”. This piece settles on the emotion anxiety, because anxiety can make you feel different feelings at the same time. The meaning Restore reflects on how anxiety has restored back in my life after a period that I seem to be doing normally well. During these times of living in COVID-19, it seems anxiety is more at a high than ever. One moment I’m okay, the next I’m overwhelmed. Constant worry about the now and future. Overall, this piece represents a new chapter in life.
“Keeping Hope Alive” by Taylor Blessett This poem describes the importance of trying to keep hope alive while living in a time of coronavirus.
“The Closeness of Family,” by Taylor Blessett ) The beautiful closeness of family is what is important during a time of coronavirus, and also staying in the house. I chose this picture of my siblings and mom this past weekend to express this theme because it’s perfectly imperfect. Everyone in the picture is showing their personalities and it shows that we are together amidst a very crazy time (and don’t worry: this was the kids VERY first time out since the start of what is happening and they were so excited because all they have seen is the walls on the inside of our house and they also kept they hands in their pockets, except the baby who stayed in the buggy!.
“Warmth,” by Anonymous Living in a time of coronavirus is an experience of appreciation for family. I painted this because I wanted to depict the feeling I experience when I think of my family. Therefore, I tried to focus on using warm colors. In this case, the fire represents both warmth and danger. Out of all created themes, this was the most important to me. COVID-19 has created an overwhelming mix of emotions. But through it all, my family has remained united.
“Living,” by Maya Elder The pink symbolizes the parts of my life that are in my control right now. Those characteristics & aspects are in my environment and within me. The green symbolizes the increase in stress levels and physical discomfort. The yellow symbolizes the loss of control of personal space. The white symbolizes the unplanned actions that have occurred during this time. The black symbolizes the relief that I feel helps me deal with the other thematic categories.
“Safe in Your Arms,” by Allison Lee My project encapsulates the theme of Feelings of Isolation and Loss that we are all experiencing during this time of the COVID-19 pandemic. I wanted to express the theme of Safety Through Loved Ones as well. I wrote a poem that expresses what it feels like to be with a loved one and what it is like to be away from a loved one.
“Safe in Your Arms,” by Allison Lee I also drew a picture of a woman and man that can’t see each other, but can still imagine what it would be like to be together. My phenomenological description was about the last time I saw my parents during the novel corona-virus crisis and how it made me feel so separated from them. Although, this part of my project was about how it feels to still have a loving partner and intimate relationship that you do not have to be away from, but you are limited in ways that you can express affections during this time. I was ultimately trying to convey with the project how it feels to only be able to interact in certain ways with different loved ones at this time during the pandemic.
“Quarantine,” by Angel Calderon Being in Quarantine can feel like imprisonment. Our freedom was taken away from us at the blink of an eye and there is nothing we can do about it. The Cage in the center of the image represents us being forced to stay inside, which is why it has “SOCIAL DISTANCING” on the top of the cage. The person hanging from the cage represents how a lot of people refuse to stay quarantined and “sneak out” to do as they please. It also can be perceived as us running to our cages to protect ourselves from the coronavirus. The final part of the artwork, the hand, represents how the government has control over our freedom.
“Living in a time of coronavirus as a CNA” by Anonymous Above is a visual representation of the themes from my experience living in a time of coronavirus as a Certified Nursing Assistant: isolation, necessity of work, chaos and order, the “unappreciated hero,” and feeling trapped/helpless. The CNA is in a hero’s cape to show the “unappreciated hero” which is also ironic because CNAs often go unnoticed for the amount of work they do even without a pandemic. I also included some comments that have been made to me throughout the pandemic. Along the path is various PPE that we are required to wear at work. We are now instructed to wear our street clothes into work rather than our personal scrubs and change into hospital scrubs and our given PPE upon arrival so I felt that it was appropriate to have the cape on before putting on the PPE. I then have the side eyes of onlookers and the various “coraviruses” surrounding me on my walk into work that I have drawn out to look like a prison cell.
“I forgot to pay my power bill so my treadmill doesn’t work,” by Jack Fulghum For my phenomenological art project about living in a time of covid19, I attempted to write a poem that brought a sense of forgetfulness, confusion, loneliness, isolation, anxiety, and depression. The forgetfulness is shown within the idea of forgetting to put my makeup on, paying my power bill, and then at the end, forgetting about the fact that I don’t own a dog, wear makeup, drink coffee, and my power bill had been paid in full the entire time. Confusion is represented pretty much throughout the entire poem. The person being confused about what they do and don’t own, and where their friends are (their friends being the sun, the moon, and photons.) Loneliness and isolation are represented in the form of not putting makeup on and no one noticing, not even the persons dog. Then, none of the persons friends show up for some coffee. Anxiety is shown in the constant excuses of why their friends didn’t show up. The fact that they drank too much coffee represents anxiety. The constant state of darkness and the unknowingness of if they are going to run into more furniture also represents anxiety. Finally, depression is represented in the idea of forgetting so many things. Not really caring about your appearance with makeup. The feeling of inviting people over for coffee and no one shows up. The reveal at the end, showing how the person forgot she didn’t have a dog, wear makeup, drink coffee, and paid their bills is a let down. All these things this person thought they had, they just don’t. Now that they remembered they don’t have any of this, now what?
The phenomenological art showcased on this website uses hermeneutic
phenomenology as a method of art-making to evoke the essential meanings of shared human phenomena.
For questions, comments, or collaborations reach out to Dr. Nisha Gupta at