OPINION: Light at the end of the lockdown tunnel

Peter FiorenzaGeraldton Guardian
'Romans 5:3', one of Dave Bromley’s drawings while living in isolation.
Camera Icon'Romans 5:3', one of Dave Bromley’s drawings while living in isolation. Credit: David Bromley/Supplied

David Bromley is an artist friend of mine.

In my opinion, he is very good at what he does.

I got to know Dave as a colleague at Nagle Catholic College.

He headed up the art department for a number of years before moving to Geelong with his wife and young family several years ago.

I’ve been able to keep in touch with Dave through social media, and some visits he has made back to Geraldton in recent times.

Lately, I have touched base with him somewhat more often.

You see, Dave and his family, now, live in Victoria, and the past few months have certainly affected their normal way of life.

'The Fridge', one of a series of drawings created by Dave Bromley.
Camera Icon'The Fridge', one of a series of drawings created by Dave Bromley. Credit: David Bromley/Supplied
RU OK?
Camera IconRU OK? Credit: David Bromley/Supplied
An artwork created by Dave Bromley while living in isolation during the coronavirus pandemic.
Camera IconAn artwork created by Dave Bromley while living in isolation during the coronavirus pandemic. Credit: David Bromley/Supplied
Groundhog Day.
Camera IconGroundhog Day. Credit: David Bromley/Supplied
Please Stand Here.
Camera IconPlease Stand Here. Credit: David Bromley/Supplied
This work of art is called Dan.
Camera IconThis work of art is called Dan. Credit: David Bromley/Supplied
Empty Classroom.
Camera IconEmpty Classroom. Credit: David Bromley/Supplied

We’ve all been affected in some way or other by the dreaded COVID-19, but Victoria has had the misfortune of experiencing a second wave of the virus that has certainly taken its toll on the State, especially Melbourne.

Although not affected as much, Geelong has had to adhere to lockdown measures.

And I have been able to gain some understanding through my link with Dave.

I’ll start the journey soon after Victoria was placed into coronavirus stage 4 lockdown on August 2.

This meant most Victorians were restricted by a curfew, and only allowed to leave their homes to obtain necessary goods and services, with limits on exercise too.

For the Bromley family, this was compounded.

In Dave’s job, he was told he had come into close contact with someone who had tested positive to the virus.

He therefore had to go into quarantine in his own house.

Dave had to remove himself from his family for two weeks and isolate in one of the bedrooms.

In order to stay on top of things, he started to draw.

“I started sketching ideas as a way of what was going on in the world,” he told me.

“They were simply quick sketches of thoughts and ideas.”

Dave decided to show the sketches on social media to friends, and there was quite a reaction.

The artworks graphically captured not just the experience, but also how he was feeling each day — what was happening, along with the thoughts his isolation provoked.

Once out of his confinement, Dave was able to share the wider expanses of his home in Geelong with his wife, who was running a business, and his daughters, who were learning remotely.

In fact, Dave, himself was teaching remotely.

Yep, the family were living on top of each other.

And Dave admits there were, understandably, meltdowns on an almost daily basis.

“It was hard to work online every day, not being able to see friends, not being able to participate in sport and stay positive,” he said.

Restrictions are now easing in Victoria.

“We can now see a bit of light at the end of the tunnel,” Dave said.

Dave’s artwork is a unique insight into an extraordinary experience.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails