Pandemic Sonata in C Major by Penny Byrne

Pandemic Sonata in C Major  2020

Vintage Italian ceramic wall plaque, miniature Corona beer bottles, Japanese handblown glass fishing buoys, vintage coral from a Coolangatta souvenir, epoxy resin, silicone, acrylic paints

47 x 40 x 11cm

“Pandemic Sonata in C Major”

This work was developed during Stage Three Restrictions when I could still go to my studio. It is a saccharine response to the overwhelming Pandemic we find ourselves in the midst of. The vintage wall plaque was already pretty kitsch, with a man serenading a woman with a mandolin, surrounded with flowers and Rococo flourishes and excessive gilding. I have added sickly saturated colours, black gold emblazoned face masks, miniature Corona beer bottles and massive overwhelming COVID molecules float around in an oppressive but also delightfully playful way.

I got a comment on social media about the work, which I’d like to share:

“Hideous. Sorry I’m sure you have other fine works.

This is hideous.”

My response:

“Thanks for the feedback. It’s meant to be hideous, as that is how I’m feeling about the pandemic.”

After I completed the work I wondered if there was actually a mandolin Sonata in C Major. It turns out there is. It’s by Antonio Vivaldi and is called Trio Sonata in C Major, RU82.11. Larghetto-Largo. It is a beautiful melancholy work featuring a mandolin. A perfect accompaniment to this artwork, it embodies how I am feeling right now. I’ve been listening to it a lot during Stage 4 Lockdown.

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