You Have Beautiful Veins

  • Marcus Peel

I am one of the lucky ones. In March, I contracted coronavirus but my symptoms were no more severe than flu. The seven-day self-isolation was a surreal experience – to be imprisoned within my own home - but it was also quite familiar because of the solitary nature of my work. It was also an opportunity for reflection and contemplation. Following a full recovery and an antibody test, I decided to donate my blood plasma. I’ve always had an irrational fear of needles so I was feeling quite anxious on the day. As I sat back, the nurse set me up and analysed my veins for the best one. “You have beautiful veins”, she said. That’s a first, I thought! Her warmth and compassion helped alleviate my anxiety. During lockdown, life slowed right down. I started to notice more within my immediate surroundings. On my many walks during the time, I also noticed a grove of Sweet Chestnut trees and the pronounced patterning on their trunks – its latticework geometry. My intention was to anthropomorphise the trees, focusing on their web of veins, and recreate the feelings that I experienced during self-isolation and the plasma donation; feelings of solitude, vulnerability and the unknown.