Emerging From Hell, 2021.
This past year has been a struggle for many of us, COVID-19 turning upside down the world we’ve always known. Especially in my personal life, I have felt the struggle of the pandemic, and honestly feel as though making it through this year was making it through hell. That’s why I chose to focus my project on the scene at the end of Dante’s Inferno as he emerges from Hell to see the stars, and the parallels it has to COVID-19 finally coming to an end in the present time. In short, the past and present have certain parallels.
I chose transparent sheets of plastic as my medium so I could overlay my drawings of the past and present, creating an effective visual portrayal of the parallels between the two. My drawing features the figure of Dante in profile, facing the masked figure of a young girl opposite him who represents me. The medium works well here, because although the two of us are on different sheets of paper--although we exist in entirely different places in time--there are certain similarities that remain anyways. Mount Purgatory rises behind Dante, symbolizing the journey ahead he still faces. In the parallel timeline that lays directly over it, the UC Berkeley Campanile stretches toward the sky, long and thin, holding a similar stature as the mountain. It represents my own personal Mount Purgatory--the next three years of college I still face and must overcome, despite the fact that I’ve just emerged from the metaphorical Hell that has been a year of isolation. The most important symbol in my project is the symbol of the stars, the one image separately present in both drawings. They symbolize hope and promise freedom.