Jihan Al-Dibouni

MA Illustration and Book Arts

Jihan has combined her background in academia and art to project her thoughts during the global pandemic. She uses drawing, painting and print-making to create mixed media illustrations that communicate current events. This project was realised during the pandemic of 2020. It challenged and encouraged Jihan to interrogate her practice by becoming more expressive and experimental. She drew inspiration from artists such as Robert Rauschenberg and Ian Breakwell thus, developing a project based on visual exploration in response to the pandemic.

COVID-19 Retrospective Reflections portrays the struggles of lockdown from March through to August 2020. Jihan documented her brother’s thoughts being on the front line at a hospital battling and finding the vaccine for COVID-19 in contrast with her time in lockdown. She took quick photographic snapshots of what she saw and did in her bubble, printed them onto acetate, dated them and kept them in a journal. She later developed separate reflections in response to her brother’s thoughts via voice notes sent at different times in the day. From this, Jihan was able to cross reference and merge her and her brother’s timings and locations to create mixed media photographic collages. Using the sun as a natural light source to create these collages on acetate was the highlight of Jihan’s creative process. She took this further and experimented with printing inks and gouache to create expressive marks and collaged them together on Procreate.

She used the resources available to her while she was in her lockdown situation to make this project personal and to reflect the reality of how the pandemic limited her venturing outside to document her surroundings. Jihan also hopes this will benefit the media world when producing historical documentation and its effects on people living at that time.

The full project can be seen at the links below.