In the summer, I made a short film composed with all the little linocuts that I’ve created since the beginning of lockdown, with a voiceover of me talking about my private hopes, fears and absurdities. It’s six minutes long, with six months of prints in it: and you can see it here!

I’d like to talk about some of the extra prints which I put in the video.

Poison Cloak (2020) by Wuon-Gean Ho. Linocut 15 x 20 cm

I know we are all now wearing masks, but I couldn’t help imagining the particles of our personal microbiome spilling out into the world, touching everyone who ventures into our zone. I was temporarily obsessed with the fear of being a secret super-spreader (a person who could merrily infect dozens more than the average carrier): and whether I would find out before it was too late.

Screen Overload (2020) by Wuon-Gean Ho. Linocut and Monoprint

Working from home became a thing. It was something I was doing before, but only twice a week: now I was there all the time. I pictured my body attenuating under the strain of working through the screen, like some kind of spider trapped in a web of her own making.

Death by Email (2020) by Wuon-Gean Ho. Linocut and monoprint, 15 x 20 cm

During Spring, the weather became absolutely and infuriatingly beautiful, but outdoor time was restricted. In my little flat, stacked above and below and beside a hundred other little flats, the westerly sunshine would stream in and cook the floor and fill the room with a dancing fug of warmth. Even with every window open to the max, the heavy air brought no refreshment, and the lassitude from computer work made me wonder whether it might actually be possible to die from too many emails.

Gilded Binbag (2020) by Wuon-Gean Ho. Linocut 15 x 20 cm

I am so grateful to live alone. My space is safe and spacious for one person, and it’s the first time I have had a place I can call home. I wanted to draw this space as a kind of golden cage, but it turned out looking a little bit more like an upside-down parachute, or a bulging plastic bin bag…

Lockdown Chop (2020) by Wuon-Gean Ho. Linocut and monoprint, 15 x 20 cm

Lockdown chop: actually, I’ve cut my own hair for a while. There’s two reasons: firstly I love the sound of scissors slicing and scattering hair, it’s very soothing. Secondly, I have a mild phobia of hairdressers (they usually marvel at the coarseness and thickness and always promise they’ll do something magical, forgetting to mention that a lot of styling products will be part of the magic)… This time round, I knew that my efforts would not need approval from the outside world.

This orchid plant is a gift from my Japanese Woodblock class students at East London Printmakers from 2013. She’s moved house with me three times and always blossoms for months and months. When movement was most restricted, putting my face next to her petals made me feel so happy, as if I had come really close to another living, responsive being.

Virtual Hands (2020) by Wuon-Gean Ho. Linocut, 15 x 20 cm

When lockdown ended, I made a trip to visit my dad for the first time in months. It was so lovely to see him, yet so brief. For reasons of safety, I was not permitted to touch him, even though our usual interactions would have included me washing his face and doing his hair. I wished I could have sent over a million pairs of hands to his side of the fence.

My Love! (2020) by Wuon-Gean Ho. Linocut and Monoprint, 15 x 20 cm

I have been helping out on weekends and evenings as a vet in my local clinic. This job always provides a welcome antidote to an overdose of solo time: unlike most vet clinics this place allows clients to enter with their pets. Direct work with real living beings provided a chance for me to remain in touch with the world. Working with people and animals in real life brings so much absurdity and adrenaline…!