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  • Digital collage
  • 18 inches wide, 24 inches high

Publication Date

Fall 10-12-2020


graphic design, religion, Mary, Mother Mary, universe, stars, pandemic, coronavirus, typography, collage


Art and Design | Graphic Design


This piece compares the 1918 Spanish flu to the 2019 coronavirus in a way that puts emphasis on spirituality and the unknown. In 1918, the Spanish flu was unlike any illness people had seen before, and everyone seemed ill-prepared. Eventually, a cure came, and society was able to push through. The coronavirus is widely unknown and scary.

In this work, I emphasize the universe, the trinity, and Mother Mary herself. The universe is vast, infinite, and widely undiscovered. There is a lot of uncertainty about our universe and life itself, but there are outlets through which people stand grounded and faithful: religion. Religion can feel comforting for some and gives people a sense of purpose in this universe. In Christianity, Mary is seen as Jesus’s link to human nature and earthly experience. She is seen as a mother figure and as a healer. When Jesus died on the cross, it was Mary who wept by him at the hour of his death.

In this piece, Mary is overlooking both pandemics and is wearing a red cross, which is a trusted symbol of protection, health, and neutrality during times of crisis. On her cloak is a handwritten Bible verse that reads, “(Ecclesiastes 1:9) What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again. There is nothing new under the sun.” This serves as a reminder of how how old and wide time can be and how we can get through whatever is put in front of us — even a mass pandemic.

Ultimately, this piece is a reminder to not be afraid of the unknown or whatever crisis is put forth onto humanity. It is a reminder that the world had survived the harshest of struggles and pandemics and that through faith, strength, and spirituality, the human race is fully equipped to survive whatever is brought forth.

Melina Durham: 1918 & 2020 Pandemic Poster



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