Lockdown Sourdough, 30.5×40.5cm, oil on canvas, 2020
I was given this beautiful loaf of sourdough bread by my neighbour, Katrin, and it occurred to me that this loaf in a way said so much about how life and time had changed for many people during the pandemic and lockdown. People reacted to the isolation by finding ways of expressing themselves which they had no time to consider previously. I felt this loaf of bread in its simple and rustic beauty symbolized how many people felt and how life had slowed to a different pace. It seemed significant that something so small should contain a larger message.
Katrin confirms that view:
“Baking sourdough is the perfect lockdown activity, I am really enjoying the process. I don’t think I would have ever started baking bread without lockdown, as it requires time, and being at home so to fold the dough every few hours throughout the course of the day. I used to wonder about how to get the spirals, my first breads didn’t have them as I didn’t own a proofing basket when I started out. The lines consist of flour and semolina, which I use to dust the proofing basket, so the dough doesn’t glue itself to it when it proves in it over night. Without the dusting it would be impossible to get dough out loaf-shaped & in one piece when it is time to bake the next day. It is the rattan structure of the proofing basket that creates the concentric circles.”