Yet, while mankind suffered, nature prospered. For the green grass, the fruit on the tree, the flowers in the meadow, the butterflies that drink their nectar, the birds that sing in the open sky, and the animals that call in the forest, the night has been neither dark nor long. While we have remained confined, nature has healed not only herself, but healed us too. Through this endless night, it is she who has provided us, who thought ourselves invincible, succour and hope. We have learnt that we must nurture rather than destroy, take cognisance of the earth that harbours us in her breast, understand that it is she who will endure – not us.

Standing in my porch, I could see the clouds gathering, the sky turning deep grey, and the trees being thrown from side to side in the wind. As it began to rain, I suddenly felt a deep sense of hope. It was as if the clouds had been holding on, and as they let go, I did too. In the midst of a second lockdown, I felt just a little bit of relief that the darkness will pass.

Anavi Mullick, ‘A Moment’, linocut, 15” x 12”

Art to me is a language to express my inner self. My thinking and my imagination gets impacted by my surroundings, i.e. people, places and their implications. In this pandemic situation, we are all stuck in our homes. We need fresh air, fresh oxygen and nature to provide it to us. But we don’t take care of Mother Nature. So through my art work, I have tried to represent that we are all following the ray of hope and need to reconstruct our Mother Nature for our future.

Debojyoty Dhara, ‘Being Optimist’, woodcut, 15” x 12”

The work is woodcut print. It is a visual dairy which reveals the lockdown situation. The visual elements are symbolically placed.

B. Karuna, ‘Untitled’, woodcut, 12”x 15”

It is an autobiographical depiction of an unproductive time, when every day experiences hits my mind nonstop like a woodpecker and I remain confused and unresponsive.

Debraj Goswami, ‘A Mid Summer Nightmare’, woodcut, 15” x 12”

Through this work I tried to convey that there is always a positive vibe within the dark days also. Since last year we are passing through dark times through the tough days of pandemic. In this work which is submitted for “Living a Dark Night”, the white spaces are the positive hopes of coming days. The black applied in the work are the dark times we have already crossed or we are going on. The work tries to portray positivity of hope for future days.

Rajashree Dutta Choudhury, ‘Grooming for Last Seed’, linocut, 15” x 12”

As the second wave of the covid was ripping through us, millions suffered and died due to the lack of oxygen cylinders. From the very beginning, it has been a total collapse, a governmental failure to provide us with essential errands. Since then, we have been waiting for the sun to be shined upon us once more where this darkness of the bleakest night shall pass away, but till then, we must endure; endure it together.

Neelam, ‘Isolation’, woodcut, 12” x 15”

My work shows human feelings towards nature. I have tried to capture happiness in one moment and sorrow in the other. I have tried to show human and nature as one closely knitted relationship. I have used buildings to show power and stability.

Manjeet Dhankhar, ‘Two Faces’, woodcut, 15” x 12”

According to Hindu legend, Mohini was an enchantress, capable of seducing gods and demons alike. Here, Mohini is seen as a hybrid bird woman yogini, balancing precariously aloft a bed of thorns. She balances an urn in her raised right hand, while her left hand supports her entire body in mid-air. The air is taut, the background animated, as Mohini awaits the promised “second dose” – the secret elixir to life and liberty.

S. Basavachar, ‘Mohini waiting for second dose’, woodcut, 15” x 12”

In the last two years, human civilization has entered a vicious cycle of hope and despair, life and death, light and darkness. The struggle to fight against bleak and deadly times instils courage in the heart of mankind, but a consistent descent into the abyss of loss – of life and of the will to fight – brings all of us back to square one. We are left asking the same question we did at the start of the pandemic – Are we ever going to emerge victorious in the end? These aspects of existence have pervaded my consciousness for a long time. Furthermore, I feel that it is an artist’s prerogative to use the graphic medium to communicate this narrative of hope and despair. Much like Eliot’s narrator in The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, I begin this story from the cityscape and gradually descend deep into the sea where “human voices drown”. Yet the overwhelming message of the composition is one of hope – the hope that becomes mankind’s weapon in their fight to achieve everlasting glory.

Avijit Mukherji, ‘Hell on Earth’, woodcut, 12” x 15”

‘The Savior’ shows nature, who expresses its sympathy for those in distress and often becomes over-involved in the lives of others. When the night is darkened, when the flies become ‘blind flies’, humans cannot value each other. Then, suddenly one day nature wears a ‘mask’ and keeps distance
from the civilized world.

Satyajit Roy, ‘The Savior’, linocut, 12” x 15”

Realized through my pioneering methods of laser-cut woodblock printing, digital drawing and other digital/photomechanical processes, and drawing from my own memories and other outside world events, “Cold Spring” conveys a sense of vulnerability, loss, grace and the reflection of the relentless march of time that has become very apparent in this stage of my life.

Jimin lee, ‘Cold Spring’, woodcut, 12” x 15”

There is a famous saying, ‘boredom strikes ideas’. This was truly experienced by so many creative souls universally during the pandemic. And the same happened with me. The mundane became fascinating. The sole tree I looked upon became an inspiration to bloom my artistry. The work here is a representation of the same.

R. S. Sham Sunder, ‘Transfix’, woodcut, 15” x 12”

Born in a goldsmith family, I grew up seeing gold engraving and various jewellery catalogues from Garanhata, a historic neighbourhood in North Kolkata. Later during my training in printmaking, I rediscovered the connection between jewellery designs and Bat-tala reliefs. These 19thcentury relief prints often contain Images of deities, mythological pictures, social pictures, and other popular imagery in an admixture of Bengali folk and British academic style. Taking inspiration from Bat-tala reliefs and various folk customs, my practice contextualises the cross-pollination of wood-engraving and woodcut techniques, juxtaposing iconography from Indian mythology and contemporary socio-politics.

Srikanta Paul, ‘Hold my Hand’, woodcut, 12” x 15”

I am a contemporary visual artist a MFA Painting graduate from Delhi University, India who lives and works in Edmonton, Alberta in Canada. The artwork here created for “Living the dark night” is a lino cut print titled the solemn seasons and reflects contemplations in the four seasons during the Covid 19 pandemic. This was a dark and lonely time in the history of mankind where all of us had to confront lockdowns, isolation, disease, death and depression. At this time on a personal level I derived lot of comfort on my solitary walks during the changing seasons. My walk route was almost the same every day; I saw new things and made small sketches. These studies later translated in the studio into drawings, painting or prints. I invite you to join me on my walks and view this linocut.

Seema Kachroo, ‘The Solemn Seasons’, woodcut, 12” x 15”

My work is not only aesthetically pleasing, but also provides the viewer with infinite opportunities to imagine and explore. I use flawless brushwork, dynamic gestural lines, and bold forms to convey energy from nature and a sense of depth, dimension and expansiveness, also achieving harmony and balance by effectively managing positive and negative space. Nature is my key influence. So far, I have created lots of work based on objects or seasons in Nature. I hope to continue to draw inspiration from it and produce more exciting and unique artworks in the future. For me life has been full of sentiments, emotions & excitements. And I have shared my experiences with others through the created visual world & will continue to do it further.

Kashyap Parikh, ‘New Morning’, linocut, 12” x 15”

The first paragraph on Page 7 in an old edition of George Orwell’s ‘1984’ are ominous words that bounce off the yellowing page … ”You had to live – did live, from habit that became instinct – in the assumption that every sound you made was overhead, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized.”
A strange black growth forms threateningly on a stump of a tree fallen in a storm and then as a ray of sun emerges from behind the grey-silver cloud, a new seed, invisible to the naked eye, gradually finds support to regenerate and live.

Ayisha Abraham, ‘…and except in darkness every movement scrutinized’, linocut, 12” x 15”

My work reflects the isolation and constant fear that
we lived in during pandemic times.

Kavita Shah, ‘Consternation’, woodcut, 12” x 15”

“… we had encountered a zebra with a broken leg, fallen in a ditch by the trail. It sat there patiently, awaiting its inevitable end. Other members of the herd passed it by. Upon enquiry, we were told that the rangers would not rescue it. They rescue only endangered species. Juda said the injured zebra would not survive the night. It would likely be scavenged by the hyenas, as is the law of Nature. And no one would intervene to upset this balance. Harsh as it seemed, the eternal wisdom of what Juda was saying was not wasted on me. I learnt a lesson from the forest that afternoon.” From the artist’s Tanzania diary – Monday, 13 January 2020

Paula Sengupta, ‘The Dark Night’, linocut, 12” x 15”

This piece is about enduring the illness of a family member, and the difficult patience that so many of us have had to experience waiting and hoping for recovery – for us and our loved ones, and for the world.

Anne Burton, ‘A Long Wait’, woodcut, 15” x 12”

I have combined layers of black ink from two woodblocks to create a desolate landscape that means to commemorates the sorrows and losses in India today. A cloud of rain or tears falls above a broken tree branch, symbolizing the lives cut short from the pandemic. Branches have been used metaphorically throughout art history for growth, for sacrifice, for nature personified. I continue this legacy to stand for myself, and to offer a universal identity for others.

Karen Kunc, ‘Dark Rain’, woodcut, 12” x 15”

It is entitled “The King Died, the Queen Died of Grief”. The title is from a quote from writer E. M. Forester. “The king died and then the queen died” is a story.’ But ‘“the king died and then the queen died of grief” is a plot.

Laura Pharis, ‘The King Died,the Queen Died of Grief’, woodcut, 6″ h. x 4″w

Nature has been our keeper, protector and mentor. Yet modern man has been waging a war against it.Our wanton destruction of natural habitats has given way to disease & destruction. Look at what our uncaring attitude has brought on – the invisible killer. Life springs from the black & white of the cosmos, morphing and multiplying, connecting through neural networks and spiraling tendrils.

Farzana Rahman Bobby, ‘Darkness surrounded by Silence’, linocut, 15” x 12”

Through the work “Ultimate Light”, I tried to reveal that the white areas of the print represent the ultimate positivity of hope and black areas are the darkness of the tough times we are going through in the pandemic situation since last year. The white swift lines in the lower portion of the work where black is also applied in the surrounding, are the ultimate light of hope, which the work specifically tries to reveal.

Anirban Dhar, ‘Ultimate light’, linocut, 15” x 12”

NO MORE SHROUDS is a reflection on the vast number of lives lost to Covid 19. Wrapped and waiting in hospital beds, homes, doorways, streets, and lovingly carried by beloved ones to a final fire, and prayed over, so their journey may continue into more blessed spheres. As a witness my prayer is no more shrouds.

Helen Frederick, ‘No More Shrouds’, 12” x 15”