Fractured: an abstract representation on how the pandemic affected my life

My life, dreams and perceptions fractured

As the pandemic hit and lockdowns spread across the world I found myself trapped in Marrakech, Morocco. I eventually had to give in to the reality that all my well laid plans and adventures were no more as they fractured into uncertainty and anxiety.

For me, the best way to deal with a new reality and the emotions that follow is to visualize it through art. The creative process is the one way I ground myself and work through the complexity of a situation. I took where I was, locked down in Marrakesh, and turned it into a piece of art that reflected my feelings and my life at that moment and time.

pandemic art a fractured and shattered Koutoubia Mosque Marrakech

Making sense of the new normal

The new normal was hard to understand, my own identity is tied to my freedom of movement and enriched by the diverse people I meet along the way. It seemed as if my identity was literally crumbling away leaving empty gaps of the unknown.

fractured statue with grey, white and green graphic shapes
Self Identity

I was unsure what my life moving forward would look like so I started looking at it in a more abstract way. The potencial was in the the cracks and the pieces that are left over.

Simplifying and embracing the unknown

Using only large graphic areas of grey I cracked and fractured them apart to reveal unexpectedly bright colors. To me the cracks and colors represented the potential of what could be without having to represent it.

fractured pandemic abstract art by Joseph Kiely with grey and red shapes

The tools I used for my Fractured Art Series

I continue to love the Procreate App – it’s fluidity and simplicity let me experiment with my ideas in real time. I then mix in photographs of texture, ink washes and in this case cracked glass.

fractured yellow, grey and black abstract shapes by Joseph Kiely

Finding peace in simplicity

Eventually I worked my way through my feelings of a life fractured and started focusing on finding order in the chaos. By simplifying and re-ordering I found peace knowing that there was potencial for something great.

fractured pandemic art series black, white and green abstract forms
Friends with Chaos

Hope found within chaos


At the end of the day we all strive to find balance and simplicity in life, but the reality is it does not exist. So I felt for this series it was important leave the cracks and fractures. The way I see it they are actually representative of the opportunity we have to break apart and re-invent our life and art.

I look forward to the chaos to come and celebrate the beauty of life, imperfect as it may be.