Painting During a Pandemic

Kathrynne Hester, Staff Writer '21

When we were kids, we played. By using our imagination and the things that surrounded us, we created magical, wild adventures. Whether it be saving someone from an angry witch or getting saved from said witch, we all had adventures. Well, imagine walking along a street and seeing your childhood creativeness come to life, jump through walls, look into portals, or even ride an oversized pigeon. 

Photos courtesy of Colossal.

Born in France, artist Julien Malland, who goes by the artist name Seth Globepainter, has painted streets and walls with murals of children running wild with their imagination. Malland’s work is featured and discussed on a popular art website called Colossal. During an interview with Colossal, Malland explains that “children, in particular, seem to have adapted easily to [Covid-19].” 

Malland’s most recent murals depict girls and boys playing with knight helmets on.

“They are protected by their helmets which weigh so heavily on them. They can only see through small openings in the metal, but they continue to play as if nothing had happened,” says Malland in a Colossal interview. The knight helmets represent the masks we all have to wear because of Covid-19 and to hide the sting of a not-so-eventful year that seems to hold no promise.

This is not the first time Malland has created works of art that depict the innocence of childhood. In 2018, Malland created several pieces throughout the world to show how today’s virtual world has affected the creativity and imagination of kids and even adults. 

“While reading, we create our own images suggested by words. The screen makes us lazy and spoils our imagination,” says Malland in a Colossal interview. 

Because of Covid-19, almost every kid is now online for 6-7 hours for the school day alone, not counting the homework. Malland’s work is a refreshing look at the world without a screen.

A Woodson art teacher, Ms. Nora Schaefer, says Malland “has chosen to portray resilience through imagery inspired by childhood imagination.” Artwork is important to the world by providing a new insight on things, creating beauty, inspiring people and telling a story. Ms. Schaefer adds that Malland’s murals “are a clever approach to commenting on societal challenges, while at the same time providing the community with uplifting, playful imagery that inspires perseverance.”