How many times must a man look up?
Like many I felt a need to create something in response to living through the pandemic. Much has been said about our health care services and our politicians; heroes have been hailed and villains vilified, there has been clapping and jeering, survivors have been embraced and those lost have been mourned. Gaps between people have been magnified, social spaces sterilised and barriers have encroached everywhere. Distance became the status quo and difference appeared in the cracks.
This triptych of flags is an attempt at addressing the cracks and closing the distance. Declarations of identity and autonomy that everyone has the capacity to care, to heal and to suffer, these are not job titles to define individuals, they are basic human tenets.
The flags have been stitched together from deconstructed hospital garments; patient’s gowns, medic’s scrubs and health care worker’s tunics. The materials themselves broken, repaired and re-appropriated. Everything has changed yet still familiar. The lines from Dylan’s 60 year old song resonate like words penned by a journalist surveying the terrain of the past 18 months. The song became a motivating mantra for me and was the catalyst that flags blowing in the wind could in some way disseminate a message of unity, solidarity and humanity.
Hans K Clausen, 2021
Hans K Clausen is a graduate of Leith School of Art and Edinburgh College of Art. In 2012 he received an Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop new graduate award and won London’s Degree Art Prize for Sculpture. He has exhibited nationally and internationally and developed a strong interest in, and reputation for, collaborative and socially engaged art. He has held several artist residencies in health care and education settings and was an NHS resident artist at North Edinburgh Arts from 2015 – 2018 where amongst other projects he created The People’s Museum of Memory and Myth www.pmmm.co.uk winner of a Building Better Healthcare Award in 2019. Hans is a studio holder at Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop, the Hospital Exhibitions Manager for Tonic Arts – Edinburgh and Lothians Health Foundation, the Community Artist at St Columba’s Hospice, and an Art and Design Teaching Fellow at University of Edinburgh’s Centre for Open Learning.