Sylvie Millen - UK

Ring a' Roses

Ring a' Roses
Sylvie Millen - UK

Worcestershire, UK

Panel ref

Memory of a childhood song triggered the connection between the Great Plague of 1665-1666 to the Covid-19 pandemic: Ring-a-ring o’roses, / A pocket full of poses / A-tishoo! A-tishoo! / We all fall down. ‘Roses’ refers to the red blotches on the skin; ‘posies’ were the flowers people carried to ward off the plague; ‘Atishoo’ describes the sneezing fits which lead to ‘We all fall down’, where people dropped down dead.  

During the Covid-19 pandemic initially there appeared not to be a cure, and people isolated at home as far as possible to stop the spread just as they would have done in 1665-6.  For their protection when they went out, they held posies to their noses, whereas we protected ourselves by wearing masks, and eventually being vaccinated to minimise the worst effects of the virus. Children singing and dancing to the Ring a Ring o’ Roses rhyme back in 1665 held hands in a circle, whereas one of the Covid-19 messages to families and children was not to touch another person, so holding hands was not an option.  

This mixed media textile panel, using a current Covid-19 newspaper article and cut-out paper dolly chains, symbolises the past and present pandemic restrictions, asks the question “Is history repeating itself?”

More artwork

See all artwork

The Future of The Covid Chronicle:

The Covid Chronicle is available for sale / exhibition by arrangement. The proceeds from the sale of the entire work would be in aid of MIND.  Please get in contact for further details.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.