THE VIRUS SERIES
Beginning on March 13, 2020, Arlington designer, artist and storyteller Nilou Moochhala engaged in a daily meditative drawing practice which continued for a year. At a time of chaos, fear, uncertainty, and
isolation, this practice offered a way to process and portray the emotional, mental, and physical feelings of living under lockdown. Each abstract and expressive drawing created a visual mark to document a specific time; the collection of 365 drawings became an
archive of a pandemic year.
The Arlington Commission for Arts & Culture invited Moochhala to develop this work – The Virus Series – into a public art installation during a spring, 2021 residency. The artist expanded the scope of her project to include 50 new drawings made in response to the
stories of diverse Arlingtonians.
CULTURAL DISTRICT INSTALLATION
Thirteen of Moochhala’s new drawings are installed here, generously hosted by the Kickstand Cafe in the heart of Arlington’s Cultural District. Each drawing is paired with a quote pulled from the story which inspired it.
THE MENOTOMY ROCKS PARK INSTALLATION
The centerpiece of “Reflecting on our Pandemic Experience” is a major installation in one of Arlington’s most beautiful green spaces, a rustic
park which offered respite and sanctuary for many during the pandemic. Moochhala has created an inviting place where visitors can reconnect with nature and engage in peaceful contemplation and healing.
100 meditation flags are suspended in a grove of pine trees; she selected 50 drawings from her original Virus Series to complement 50 drawings responding to the pandemic experiences of others.
Moochhala interviewed leaders in town government including the Town Manager, the Fire Chief, and a Select Board Member. She reached out to front- line workers, teachers, medical professionals, local business owners, public housing residents, and inventor/engineers. She talked to the new parents of a “pandemic baby,” middle-school and college
students, working parents and retired seniors. Some of the stories she heard were heart-breaking,but most were inspiring accounts of resiliency, compassion, and humanity.
The installation is inspired by prayer flags used by
many cultures to promote peace and strength; it is
traditionally believed that messages on the flags will
be blown by the wind to spread compassion into all
Artist-in-Residence Nilou Moochhala
26 meditation flags with interviewee quotes & mixed media drawing
Presented by the Arlington Commission for Arts & Culture
Funded by a grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council
& donations from the Friends of Menotomy Rocks Park and individual supporters
Installation by: Site donation by:
MORE INFO: Arlington Commission for Arts & Culture: ArtsArlington.org, @artsarlingtonma | Nilou Moochhala, Artist: niloumakes.com, @niloumooch | Cecily Miller, Curator: cecilymiller.org
Visit the Menotomy Rocks Park installation located at:
Menotomy Rocks Park, 129 Jason Street, Arlington, MA 02476
Reflecting on our Pandemic Experience