Corona Zug, 22.02.2021

Zug artist painted the viruses long before the pandemic

Margrit Fischer has brought her viruses to the vaccination centre in Baar: the colourful pictures are meant to cheer people up.

If you’re going to be vaccinated in Baar, you’ll encounter a picture directly in the entrance area on your left side, in which various large viruses can be seen flying around against a light blue background. Or are they dancing? These viruses – which immediately make everyone think of Corona – can normally only be found under the microscope, but here they are reproduced massively enlarged. As a counterpoint to the viruses, delicate green branches can be seen on the left side, which stand for nature. It's not a poster, so it's worth taking a closer look:

The painting, painted on canvas with bright pigment colours, is by the Zug artist Margrit Fischer-Hotz (82), who has been working on science topics for many years. She devotes herself to the poetry of particles in her works of art – and physics, nanotechnology, radiology, cutting-edge medicine and many more topics play a role here. The second picture, which she has now made available to the Vaccination Centre, also shows fantasy viruses, supplemented with the lettering "Finally Finished?" It was only recently completed. “The shapes are right, but the colour design of the viruses doesn’t correspond to reality, but to my artistic freedom. And, by the way, I added the question mark after the advice of the staff of the vaccination centre," says the petite elderly lady with a smile.

"With my pictures, I want to give people confidence, some joy, courage and love. Nothing is as important in this pandemic as that." In the meantime, Margrit Fischer has already received her second vaccination, and everything has gone well.

Visionary motives
So how did she come up with the idea of making her pictures available to the vaccination centre? Margrit Fischer: "The picture in the aisle was finished in January 2018. It hung in my room for a long time and many people liked it. When the pandemic broke out, some visitors thought it showed "Corona" and looked at me in a inquiring way. My daughter thought there was something visionary." That is why she recently contacted the Zug city councillor André Wicki, who had a picture of hers in the city hall (Stadthaus). Health Director Martin Pfister advised her to contact the offices of the emergency services, which she did. And, on her own initiative, as is her way, Margrit Fischer went personally to the vaccination centre and presented her idea to the director, Martin Wenzel. The artist says:

"They were thrilled. I told them that I had painted a much larger, similar work, and they replied that they would like both of them."

Photo 1: Margrit Fischer in front of one of her pictures at the vaccination centre in Baar
Photo 2: Some colour is certainly good: this is how sterile things looked earlier in the Zug vaccination centre in Baar.

Photos: Maria Schmid, (Baar, 11 January 2021)

Their joy was briefly clouded by a small difficulty, but, in the end, all the problems could be solved – including the transport, because the pictures are between 1.50 and 2.40 metres in size. Martin Wenzel also stated that the pictures seemed almost visionary, and that they were positively received by the employees. The large picture has been hung in the hall, where it will provide a decorative element.

Very large work in progress
Margrit Fischer has her works all around her in her apartment. Despite the afflictions of old age, she still paints, sometimes even at night. The pictures are created on the long table in the room, where vessels for brushes, pens and colours are positioned next to them.

She is not deterred by large-format works, such as the 6-metre-long picture that is currently being created in parts on canvas, and will have to be professionally assembled by a saddler. Particles of quantum physics are combined with natural elements here,  and the letters "Many Worlds" and "Hope". Some particles are only a few millimetres or centimetres in size, so she has to spend countless hours working with rulers, pins and brushes. Margrit Fischer says of her incessant commitment:

"In 1991 I had a vision that people needed to work together with research and science. I’m still convinced that this will give them love and hope."