Arts·COVID Residencies

Artist Laura Dawe is making sense of this moment by scrapbooking — and you can too

Memory can be blurry, but documenting life in real time can help you understand it in the future.

Memory can be blurry, but documenting life in real time can help you understand it in the future

Artist Laura Dawe is making sense of this moment by scrapbooking — and you can too

CBC Arts

10 months ago
3:49
Memory can be blurry, but documenting life in real time can help you understand it in the future. 3:49

In our self-shot video series COVID Residencies, we're checking out how artists are adapting their practices in isolation, whether it's diving into different processes or getting lost in their sketchbooks.

In ten years from now when we look back and reflect on this COVID-19 pandemic, how will we remember it?

Visual artist Laura Dawe has a pretty simple yet effective place to turn: scrapbooking!

Laura Dawe's years of scrapbooks. (Laura Dawe)

Her entire life, she has always been a "prolific journaler" — so documenting this moment in time was inevitable. "Once the global pandemic hit, I thought I might want to remember this accurately and I may want to share it."

In this video, Dawe walks us through the beginning of her COVID scrapbook. It includes deep personal thoughts, a sheet of toilet paper, a pair of latex gloves, humorous perspectives and several more little wonders. 

(Laura Dawe)

"I think that we have a tendency to think about hindsight as being 20/20. I feel like it can be quite blurry — blurred by the present and everything we've learned between now and the past. So keeping notes in real time about big events can be really enlightening, and just an outlet for all this energy with nowhere to go, so I recommend you try it at home. All you need are scraps and a book!"

Follow the rest of Dawe's scrapbooking journey here and keep a lookout for the stories we're bringing you from other artists in isolation as part of COVID Residencies. Stay safe, friends!

(Laura Dawe)

CBC Arts understands that this is an incredibly difficult time for artists and arts organizations across this country. We will do our best to provide valuable information, share inspiring stories of communities rising up and make us all feel as (virtually) connected as possible as we get through this together. If there's something you think we should be talking about, let us know by emailing us at cbcarts@cbc.ca. See more of our COVID-related coverage here.

About the Author

As a young child, March Mercanti would play with his action figures for countless hours because he was obsessed with telling stories...to himself. Currently, March is a filmmaker living in Toronto, ON. He works at CBC Arts creating documentaries for artists across Canada.

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