The Spring Map paintings are inspired by the quarantine of Covid-19. Using old Renaissance maps to speak to the spread of disease felt fitting as a starting point for finding our place in a new unknown world. The geography of these old maps is strange and wonky which resonates with the current world situation. Martin Waldseemüller’s Mappa Mundi of 1507 inspired me. His map was the first map to name America (after Vespucci’s voyage). It is comprised of twelve pieces, which seems a perfect metaphor for how the globe has been shattered, nations shutting borders and residents under lockdowns, all separated.
The thought of the Great Plague of 1351 seemed so ancient and never even a possibility of happening to us given our great medical and social strides in the last six hundred or so years. Yet, unbelievably here we are, literally living through a historic pandemic surrounded by huge uncertainty and losses of life and of connection. My paintings are paintings of life, of finding existential meaning in crisis. The geography is deliberately inaccurate as a means to portray disorientation and confusion. The colors are a nod to spring and regeneration, including flowers in states of decay and of blossom. These paintings are my thoughts and dreams of our place in the stars and our time.
Susan Lizotte lives in Los Angeles and balances her studio practice with her family and pets, including a pet peacock.