The Chronicles of Recovery and Hopelessness by Annaliese Hilgendorf

An animated GIF featuring multiple drawings and text representing the chaos of the pandemic and its toll on mental health

COURSE: Independent

MEDIUM: Digital Illustration, Graphic Essay, Video/Film

Over the lockdown I started drawing whatever came to mind. I found the incohesiveness of each individual drawing coming together in a chaotic GIF to display the whirlwind of a year that 2020 was and the drastic toll it took on mental health for countless individuals, as well as my personal abstract representation of my experience of the pandemic.

The world went up in flames (figuratively) in March of 2020, Covid raging, changing the world forever. On the final days on campus, everyone was coping with the bottomless pit in our stomachs. Spiraling thoughts swarmed my brain. Left with little words to express the constant anxiety following the sudden shift, in reality, it led me back to one of my favorite pastimes: creating. I started drawing, writing, whatever came to mind, any thought I could find words for. I saw lines, colors, and textures to fill the silence of where words should have been. The pandemic’s effect on everyone is subjective, and my subjectivity was expressed through abstract doodles, painting the encrypted thoughts swarming around my mind. And precisely, the abstractness of the pandemic shines through in the constant confusion of my artwork. My piece deals with the mercurial thoughts of my mind and the volatile global crisis. It expresses the inconsistent life the world has been grappling with from mental health, to looking to the positive. Take what you will with it.


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