I was in the middle of planning my first solo show and had just finished my business plan and was on a creative roll, with a clear plan of how my 2020 would end. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that we were all about to be hit with a pandemic that would change the world.
For some it has been devastating, with lives lost, jobs lost, families divided and businesses on the brink of collapsing. For all of us I think it was a wakeup call, a chance to rethink our values, beliefs and for society to make much needed changes.
Bracknell, United Kingdom
A Different Kind of Winter
This piece was born right after a counselling session. I had been feeling empty for a couple weeks but could not pinpoint where this emptiness was coming from. My counselor helped me realize that my emptiness was coming from exhaustion. It's been a challenging, life-transforming year worldwide but also personally. This year I went through losses, got Covid-19, got financially affected by the pandemic, got robbed in the subway and figured out some serious things about myself. Thank God, I'm ok now. I found a new job and got a new phone, recovered completely from Covid-19 and I am looking forward to a new year.
But still, I.AM.TIRED. Exhausted. Flat out. I vow to myself that this winter I will take time to rest, recharge, refill.
This winter I will probably cry.
This winter I will certainly rest.
This winter I will definitely heal.
Johannesburg, South Africa
I am from South Africa and we have one of the strictest lockdowns in the world. Right now, we are on day 63. Alcohol and tobacco are banned substances and if the police find you in possession you are jailed with a criminal record. We also have a curfew in place from 8pm till 5am daily. So, my images have a Dystopian vibe. A feeling of a loss of freedom and being ruled by the state. I have a feeling that the government is more behind controlling the people rather than supporting the us in a difficult time like this.
San Francisco, California
You May Not Cross the Threshold of Your Front Door for Any Reason
These were the words uttered to me by the SFDPH on a Friday evening after returning from work. My ex-husband had tested positive for covid and because the children and I are close contacts of his, we were placed under a mandatory quarantine for 14 days. The timing was interesting...I had moved from Oakland to San Francisco 6 weeks before, to an apartment building without laundry facilities, and between the move and the insanity of kids and working 45 hours a week I hadn’t washed clothes in the entire 6 weeks since relocating. I had been coasting on the last odds and ends to get to the weekend where I planned a massive laundry day. As of Friday night, I only had some random clean shirts and a closet full of dresses. As I started to make my way through the collection of dresses in my closet, I was inspired to capture the absurdity of the situation. As I began to make images, I felt the desire to play into the range of my emotions. My ex-husband had no symptoms and was feeling fine, we knew this could continue to be the case, or it might be like the flu, or he could succumb to it like so many others. Whether he would be ok or not was completely out of anyone’s control. He had the virus in his system and there was nothing we could do about it. So, we locked ourselves up, away from him, in a state of monotony and crisis.
Imaginary friend no.01 – (Conversation with Plants)
Home alone? Feeling lonely? Make your own friends. Suddenly I had all the time in the world. I was sitting alone in my flat, sharing my thoughts with my cat and my 13 succulents, so I decided to make my own imaginary friends. During the lockdown I’ve embroidered three masks with different faces and invented little everyday scenarios which I would record with photos or videos. These little interventions with my imaginary friends kept me busy and sane during this time alone.