More often than not, difficult situations turn out to be blessings in disguise. You might know someone who developed a new hobby or discovered a new passion during the Corona pandemic which had a remarkable impact on their lives. This was the case for Karen Soans, at the time a PhD student with the Modes and Norden labs. She started a visual Journal using an iPad creating digital artwork to express her thoughts and feelings. The images express moments of doubt, wonder, loneliness and revelation – as experienced in life and in the lab. As Karen’s childhood dream was to become an astronaut, the character in her artwork is an adventuring astronaut called ‘Astro’ and the accompanying spaceship (a home away from home) the ‘Citadel’.
Karen installed the first set of her paintings in the CSBD in summer of 2021 and carried the title ‘The Lonely Astro’. A year later, the second installment is now on display on the first floor of the CSBD (Western corridor) alongside the older paintings. The paintings feature imagined landscapes, varied color fusions and texts reflecting the thoughts and feelings of Astro.
Karen hopes the artwork provides a sense of kinship and comfort for those experiencing similar thoughts and feelings. She continues producing paintings and uploads her artwork regularly on Instagram @doodlinscientist.