How I live now

Tuesday 18 August 2020

Collage of images from 'How I Live Now'

'How I live now' is a community art project coordinated by Clifton Hill based visual artist Suyin Lam supported by a Creative Community Covid-19 Quick Response Grant.

The work involves over 100 miniature artworks presented as access cards to our new roles and work/learning spaces at home. Suyin’s collages, paintings and prints were made over several weeks during lockdown. Her inspiration came from daily walks around the neighbourhood photographing the many interesting displays in residential windows, including children’s art. Images include backdrops of daily Covid-19 news reports and government adverts such as physical distancing.

Everyone’s experience of living through Covid-19 is unique. Event passes draws on the notion of passes people wear on lanyards to major sporting events such as the Commonwealth games, Tennis, VIP passes to concerts, conference ID cards as well as Access/security cards to gain entry to a building, lifts etc, Staff ID cards help staff keep safe while they're at work, worn around the neck (or clipped onto clothing). It's a sign of employment, privileged membership to a club/company/organisation. It's a form of security at an event or in the workplace.

However, within a month that has all changed, locally and around the world. Many are working or studying from home. Forced to turn inward, I am questioning my role and identity who am I now? What ID card will I wear each day to access my home?

Local primary schools and community members were invited to contribute including Spensley Street Primary School in Clifton Hill and Holden Street Neighbourhood House in North Fitzroy.

'How I live now' collectively expresses everything from joy, humour, fear, freedom, boredom and repetition.

“To be awarded a Covid19 Quick response grant is an absolute honour. To take an idea to fruition has been a really positive and enriching experience for me. The project gave me a purpose during restrictions, social distancing and uncertain times” says Suyin.

“I like the way it had a sense of immediacy and urgency to it. It became my sole focus for 3 months. I was the artist, the curator and the creative director - all from home! It has really pushed the boundaries for me as to what can be achieved from having a dream or idea and then reaching out to others. This would have been a totally different experience without the involvement of others. I almost felt like I had a team around me working on this project, so I wasn't alone.”

Keep an eye out for future exhibitions of ‘ How I live now’ at Yarra Libraries and follow Suyin on Instagram @kitartstudio


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