The world moves fast until it doesn’t move at all. Since March 2020 the fevered scatter of humanity has come to a full stop. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our lives — for the worse, the better, or both. This is the evolution of societal living. In his duo of prints, Love in the Time of Corona and Love in Lockdown, UK based illustrator Paul Blow looks at the global lockdown through the collected lives of people sheltered in an apartment complex. Each window tells a story. Through one window a couple embraces, through another, a couple stands at either end of their apartment separated by any combination of boredom, anxiety, anger, depression, or restlessness. Delivered in loose ink work and spirited color, Blow wants his work to be seen and read quickly. He shows a variety of experiences that can be happening right now.
In Love in Lockdown, he adds a pair of lovers, reaching between their apartment buildings for the slightest of kisses. They won’t reach, they can’t. It’s desire with no outlet. You wonder, did these neighbors, forced to stay home, meet one afternoon on their balconies, and fall in love? If the pandemic had not happened, would they have found each other? Then there are those that have realized they are in bad relationships and are prepared to work to fix it or move on. Some have found therapy or mediation. Some have formed a deeper love with their partners, friends, or themselves. Rethought careers and how to live their lives.
Through this apartment complex, Blow’s story is one of individual evolution at its most necessary. There is hope for all of us in this. We have the time to get to know our partners in a new way. With only our voices to keep us company, we can get to understand ourselves. Blow shows us these people at dusk, the time of happy hours date nights, parties, and relaxation after a day’s work. These are people living in the global pause as best they can and they are finding change, resolve, and love when it is needed the most.