Revisiting the small worlds in my head as kid.

Earlier in the year I created a sculptural work The Impossible Journey Home. When I found out it was a finalist in the Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize 2020, I thought “I’m going to make more of them!”

The things about these works is they remind me of all the things I loved drawing as a kid. The funny little complex worlds where all these little tiny people are getting caught up in all kinds of adventures. I love the miniaturisation of it, imagining yourself shrunk down and walking through this imagined landscape.

COVID-19 keeps its grip on our imagination.

A paper sculpture by Ray Monde of tall mountains with a hole cut through them
Tunnelling Home, paper and collage on board, Ray Monde, 2020

Just like the work for the sculpture prize, these works play on the idea of getting from Seattle, USA to Braidwood, Australia.

Daily case loads in the USA are spiking to 160,000 a day. And every day it gets worse. States are starting to shut down again, locking people in their homes.

For me and Chris, it’s not as desperate as March where we knew so little about this virus. Now, we are better prepared. We know how to avoid infection as best as we can. I sit up on the sun deck on the ferry in pouring rain and howling winds. I’m alone. There’s zero chance of catching anything up there – except maybe a cold!

Fun in a time of crisis.

An Australian pub in front of looming mountains as a sculpture by Ray Monde
We’ll Row Home If We Have To, collage and board on cherry wood, Ray Monde, 2020.

Cheerfulness in adversity is how we’ll get through this. It doesn’t mean we don’t mourn the 250,000 COVID-related deaths in the USA. It means we keep our chins up to get through this.

That’s why these two new works show us rowing from Seattle to Braidwood. It shows us digging a tunnel through the mountains. It’s ridiculous, it’s absurd, it’s a crazy, childish idea. It gives us hope. We’ll get through this, together.

Stay safe and when this is all over, we can’t wait to see your face again.

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