British graphic artist Gemma Nics has created an illustrated handbound book containing a series of captions and comments from Instagram that document what it has been like to live through this year's Covid-19 pandemic.
Coronavirus: A Social Commentary hopes to provide a sense of comfort – or at least validation – to those that have felt isolated during the events of 2020, helping to highlight that they are not alone in their experiences or emotions. "What's got a lot of us through this pandemic is our sense of collective humanity," the Bradford-based illustrator tells us. "The coming togetherness we have felt in trying to support one another through this challenging time.
"Realising that we need to look out for our elderly neighbour, taking time to counsel our friend that's been made redundant, struggling with our mental health, venting on social media and realising as we do these things that people all around the country, and all around the world are going through the exact same experiences."
Each piece of text is accompanied by one of Gemma's illustrations, creating both a visual and written documentation of collective feelings, thoughts, and experiences. The book, which is entirely handcrafted, plays on the value society has found in reading, making and connecting online during 2020.
Through this book, Gemma confronts the reality of Covid-19 head-on, emphasising the collective nature of the experience we are all going through and applying a sense of humanity to a year that has, for many, felt so surreal. "It documents, and reflects back at us, the raw emotions we have all felt throughout this pandemic: fear, grief, frustration, anger and at times, hope," Gemma adds.