Centimetre counting: 4-7-20
by Mathilde muPe
Drawing is a habit both for Diana Ozon and Mathilde muPe. In March 2020, the exhibitions that muPe was working towards were cancelled, and Ozon had to shelve her poetry readings and performances. This at least gave them space to record this extraordinary period.
Diana: At the start of the corona crisis, I wrote a few poems about what I heard on the news. It didn’t put me in a cheerful mood. I decided to draw the consequences of the lockdown for my environment, which made the absurd more bearable for me and the people around me.
Mathilde: Staying at home isn’t fun. I use drawing to provide online entertainment. This era is a rewarding subject, and little stories stand out in the empty streets. I see something, and draw it when I get home.
Diana: Yes, exactly. Every day I post a sketch on Facebook and add a short text. It turned out that Mathilde muPe was doing the same thing by coincidence. We’re each working in our own style, and I call my messages Covid Chronicle.
Mathilde: My series started as Boxed in and since June it’s been Run Wild. At first, I did it almost every day, and then halfway through April I made it one or a few times a week.
Diana: It’s remarkable that we’ve been portraying the same subject from time to time, yet without talking to each other. She’s been doing it from the east side, and I from the west. This has been going on for months.
Mathilde: When I’m drawing, I notice that sometimes I put in more details than I normally do. I used to draw a complete situation with five lines, but drawings like that don’t always come across on the internet. Besides, there’s a story in the details.
Diana: I often try to hide mini jokes in mine, and lots and lots of bikes. I’ve been drawing faster and faster, stylising a facemask with two strokes of the pen. For the accompanying text I’ll take longer: after all, I’m still a poet. I want the reader to truly experience it.
Mathilde: In addition to drawing, I used the camera to capture iconic squares and other places. The clean, quiet city centre seemed like a great advertisement for a utopian world. I deliberately left people in the picture, because Amsterdam is a cosmopolitan city.
Diana: Amsterdam, and especially its inhabitants and visitors, continue to fascinate me.