Digital photograph of an original hand-coloured sketch from one of 10 sketch books created by artist, special education teacher and mother Liz McGrath during the COVID-19 pandemic between March and December 2020. The sketch, over a double page, portrays the whole Tunn McGrath family dining at their kitchen table in their Barwon Heads home, dated 25 August, 2020.
This is one of a collection of digital photographs of sketches created by Liz McGrath when she was living at her home in Barwon Heads, Victoria, with her husband John and four teenage children. She began to produce sketches in January 2020 during a trip to Vietnam where she kept a travel diary and then uploaded her sketches to her Instagram account (@everydaylizmc). As COVID-19 restrictions came in place in Victoria in March 2020, Liz continued to produce daily drawings in response to what she witnessed in her home and daily life.
Description of Content
Family group seated around a kitchen table eating a meal.
Digital colour photograph
Statement of Historical Significance:
This collection consisting of an original sketchbook and series of digital photographs documents a selection of individual sketches that were hand-sketched by artist, special education teacher and mother Liz McGrath during the COVID-19 pandemic from March to December 2020. At the time these sketches were produced, Liz was living at her home in Barwon Heads, Victoria, with her partner John Tunn and four teenage children: Hazel, Rosie, Sandy and Poppy Tunn McGrath. She began to produce sketches earlier that year in January during a trip to Vietnam where she kept a travel diary and then uploaded her sketches to her Instagram account (@everydaylizmc). As COVID-19 restrictions came in place in Victoria in March 2020, Liz continued to produce daily drawings in response to what she witnessed in her home and daily life. Liz reflected in February 2021:
'Drawing became a daily ritual and social media feedback motivated me to stick to my plan. My simple guidelines: sketches were from life (not photos) and took less than 45 mins. During lockdown our 4 teenagers were all living back at home, 3 studied remotely and every 'desk' space was full. John, a public servant, made the garden shed his office, tapping away at a computer amid the tools. An art teacher in Special Ed, I juggled working face-to-face and remotely, and for long days the house was full. Drawing became therapy, a meditation on how lucky we were. Case numbers spiralled, but drawing was my reflection on the positives. our cosy home, good company, food and comforts in a safe country. Wet washing on a clothes-horse may seem mundane subject matter, but drawn to express my gratitude at our washing machine and hot water. Each day revealed a new subject: a meal, a walk, our garden - plus facemasks: sewn, washed or worn!'
Over the months Liz amassed hundreds of sketches across multiple journals, all reflecting scenes of daily life during the coronavirus period. This selection of 10 drawings speaks to a range of themes, including: home-schooling, leisure at home, mask wearing, domestic work, working from home, parenting and family life. They images provide a lasting reminder of the daily experiences of family and home life during the COVID-19 pandemic in Victoria, as well as demonstrating the importance of art, and creative mediums such as drawing, as a vehicle for individual and collective healing.
Collected & Donation from Ms Liz McGrath
Collected as part of the Museum In My Neighbourhood project with support from the Office of Suburban Development
Digital Photograph, Colour
Type of item