“In the uncertain, early days of COVID, I, like so many others, discovered that inspiration was very difficult to find. It was an unnerving time of unprecedented concern and shifting priorities for everyone. Early on I attempted but ultimately failed to find the motivation to return to the normalcy of working on my usual pencil drawings. Nevertheless, I still carted my sketchbook around with me and soon found myself getting lost in these small, fussy, ballpoint pen drawings. These spontaneous, non-objective doodles seemed to satisfy my desire to remain connected to the “art” side of me that just wants to make stuff, and at the same time proved to be strangely cathartic. These drawings were completely automatic, stream of consciousness-based therapy sessions.
The magic of automatic work is that it does not come from a place of knowledge or intellect. These drawings, in particular, are based in emotion and as such reveal a fair amount of truth. The subconscious does not lie. It wasn’t until much later that I realized they may not be as innocently non-objective as I originally thought. As I completed a drawing and moved to the next, similar themes emerged. Many drawings share organic traits, with an emphasis on growth. Perhaps my subconscious was dealing with virology, perhaps the biological, or perhaps none of these. It’s impossible to know what catharsis will look like.” — Chet Griffith