Visiting Assistant Professor Melissa Vogley-Woods is responding to the coronavirus pandemic through her natural medium - art.

The painter and sculptor became frustrated during her attempts to express her emotion— so she turned to history for inspiration.

She shares her processes regarding her work, “Always”:

This design was created at the very end of the last pandemic of this nature in 1920. The re-vision of this pattern helps remind us to imagine that this, too, shall pass. Patterns can be comforting and intimate as well as emblems of human memories. The design created by Dufy comes to us from the past and a moment of relief and renaissance that is striking, beautiful and joyous. It has been placed in the windows to highlight that we are still connected even though temporarily separated from one another.

The house acts as a holding space for us and a framework for time as we move away from the linear into a more rounded, looping, circular sense. The house in this condition offers us both safety and menace. The windows are the space in between these: an exit to look out, the place between private and public.

Thinking about this pattern, this looping sense of time, this occurrence, and this cycle reminds us that this is a condition we have found ourselves in before and will again. That we will get past this time, because we have before. “An epidemic is at once biological and cultural, that possesses a standard dramaturgic narrative and that is structured by denial, recognition, action and reflection on the epidemic experience*” Our new normal is a condition that humanity has cycled through many, many times.

The work is in essence, a reflection of light. The light is a phantasmagoric presence only seen when activated by light brought to the surface. In this way, the enduring aspect of this temporary art installation will be held by those who have visited the work. The viewer will hold the image in memory or in an apparatus and is the final step to the work’s function. The viewers’ actions are needed to make the work. This work changes depending on how you view it — with a flashlight, with a flash photo… the image will come to you.

The title comes from the words of the artist, Lee Krasner, when speaking of the seemingly unending condition women are held in relationship to men.

She summed it up in a single word. “Always”
Always, we will go through these moments
Always, we will find ways to continue…


April 16, 2020