Self Isolation Self Portrait – Ciana Fitzgerald

I’ve just completed by latest work titled ‘Self-Isolation Self-Portrait.’ Created during week nine in lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it explores the themes of identity and isolation.

I wanted to mirror the current climate of uncertainty we all find ourselves in by creating a pensive atmosphere through colour and form. In this self-portrait I am looking away, there is no way to know who the figure is except for the title. By not focusing on the face the figure becomes universal, and by doing so I’m hoping to forge a direct emotional connection with the viewer, one of shared experience. Shared experience, and the feeling of being understood is essential to the human experience I feel, especially during these trying times.

Self- Isolation Self-Portrait, in my makeshift studio (my bedroom hehe)

Although I worked from a photograph I had taken of myself, I wanted to create an atmosphere outside time and outside the linear, so my colour palette was mixed intuitively. My aim in doing so was to create an emotional imprint rather than a solely figurative painting, so that despite it’s photographic source the visceral blues, greys and blacks emanate a sense of collective nostalgia, offering viewers a dreamlike moment of imaginative connection, and the chance to recognize fleeting and universal emotions.

The deep, dark background is reminiscent of a memory from a dream, neither based wholly in reality nor of this world, like a parallel universe. Much like how the pandemic feels, life momentarily in an alternate universe.

  1. Avatar photo
    Nazar Niazmetov

    Dear Ciana,
    Thank for the sharing!

    Square format of image is today actual, isn’t it?
    Despite Instagram accepted other ones, people, artists understood advantages of it and continue using 🙂
    What for you think about it? Does format of canvas make sense, or it is just a way to express, a tool?

    I like paintings of Misha Nikatin, please have a look

    1. Ciana Fitzgerald

      Thank you so much Nazar!
      I’ve had a look at Misha Nikatin’s work in detail, particularly loving his square formatted portraits of figures with their backs turned, you’re right! The square formatting of portraits like this connect beautifully to how we communicate today in the contemporary world of social media imagery. They almost become polaroids or snapshots of a moment of everyday life in motion rather than a staged or setup portrait. Thank you for that insight. Hope you’re well and keeping safe!

  2. Amalia Gil-Merino

    This is a very honest portrait Ciana. It connects to some images I remember from Asia, where imaginery is kept simple and efficient: the blues and blacks contrasting with the pale almost transparent skin.
    I love the dreamlike aura.
    The composition and your back express better that any word the essence of this pandemic.

    Remembering one painting by Hokusai “the latern ghost”: It was always so ambiguous for me that I wasn’t sure about the meaning.
    I think your painting transmits very well our emotions.

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