My daily walks were the only time during the first lockdown of 2020 when I was free to self-reflect. I felt trapped by my domestic responsibilities, especially home-schooling my 7-year-old. In addition, my father had recently died of cancer, and I had chafed at sitting Shiva [the traditional Jewish mourning ritual] with the rest of my family. I usually use art, especially my diary drawings, as a space where I digest my life, but during lockdown I couldn’t visit my studio, or have time alone to make art. In Blue Sky Walking During a Pandemic, painted from a photograph taken at the time, and from life in my studio after lockdown, I recorded how I used my walks to think and feel, as I let my dark thoughts out during those sunny days.
Sarah Lightman is a London-based artist and writer, and Honorary Research Fellow at Birkbeck, University of London. For the last 20 years her research and artwork has focussed on women’s autobiographical visual memoirs. She studied at Central/St Martin’s, The Slade School of Art and University of Glasgow. She is a faculty member of The Royal Drawing School where she teaches Graphic Narratives. Her publications include Graphic Details: Jewish Women’s Confessional Comics in Essays and Interviews (McFarland 2014) and her autobiographical graphic novel, The Book of Sarah (Myriad Editions and Penn State University Press 2019).