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Golden Drawings and The Coviad by David Breuer-Weil - 3D virtual exhibition by Ben Uri Research Unit

Golden Drawings and The Coviad by David Breuer-Weil

The Coviad is a contemporary version of the Bayeux Tapestry for the age of Covid, and of identical size - some 350,000 square centimetres. The Coviad was executed prior to the current debate about the proposed restoration of the Bayeux Tapestry in the UK, making it uncannily relevant.
This epic work, executed in pencil and gold leaf, and one of the largest drawings in history, tells of the experiences of the last year in breath-taking detail. From the mysterious origins of the pandemic, to its global spread, the artist transforms many symbols that appear in the tapestry into contemporary icons. The Coviad, the title being a pun on the epic poem, The Iliad, charts the spread of the pandemic carried by planes, boats and people, the lockdowns, divisions into support bubbles,

Thursday night clapping in support of the NHS, the masked population, daily walks, separation from loved ones and tragic fatalities. It also portrays significant concurrent events, the murder of George Floyd, the protests and toppling of statues and general physical and mental health instability.

The artist, who contracted Covid-19 during Spring 2020, also engages with biblical comparisons and uses imagery of the Passover to particularly relevant effect, the 10 plagues and the evils of slavery. The Coviad ends on a positive note as the vaccines arrive like angels from heaven and the world returns to an unknown form of normality. No one knows what the new normal will be as people enter their old lives with inevitable and understandable trepidation. The last of the 70 connected panels sees a telescope looking at Perseverance landing on Mars, a symbol of hope for the future. The Coviad is exhibited here literally just weeks after its completion (during the third lockdown) and stands as a testament to the threat to humanity in our time.

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