My Creative Lockdown

As it was for all of us here in the US, the experience I was having in New York was at some point suddenly interrupted and consequently transformed into a ‘slightly’ different and certainly unexpected kind. Working from home has proved its pros and cons but it also made us all think about matters that we hadn’t had time for before.

I invited my former classmate  from Politecnico di Milano, Burcu Dogruyol,  to work with me on something that back then was only shaping up in my mind. Together we found a way to present through a graphic how we saw the world in this very moment and more importantly, how we wanted all people to be seeing it eventually. Inspired by the pandemic, within two months, working almost everyday after-hours we produced an image we later called HOME.

During these unprecedented times, for the first time, we all share the similar experience of adjusting to the new realities of our everyday life. We are used to expanding our world through exploring the city around us, taking part in the collective activities that are going on in it, or simply getting to know people in the community. Contrarily, today’s conditions require us to sustain our needs and pleasures within the walls of our house. Being limited by these boundaries as well as transforming that limitation into countless opportunities is part of the experience.

One of the most significant ramifications caused by the lockdown is the reduction of our collective carbon footprint. We learned to scale down our entire world into just the local environment. Subsequently, we had a chance to observe that such alternative solutions we have adapted in our dailylives, have a positive impact on the environment. As we might be getting closer to the day of reopening the cities, it is our long overdue responsibility to retain and further improve these environmental efforts.

The image is a reflection on the meaning of HOME, considering that it has become a much bigger part of our lives compared to before. In therecent months, the spaces we inhabit have become our private universes. A house now functions as a gym, school, office, and even this favorite bar of ours where we like to chat with friends. Although we are currently in isolation and separated by the walls of our house, we  are anticipating the day we will reunite. Everything in the illustration is connected through grout, joining the world together like veins in the human body, showing us that our strength is in our collective connection. The image reminds us that we have a shared house, Earth, which we have neglected for a long time. At a time when hygiene has become a priority, overcoming environmental pollution is more important than ever. The metaphorical world is built out of white ceramic, a fragile material that without diligent maintenance and care shows even the slightest abuse. People in the image working together to care for it remind us that there is no better time than now to take over the task of contributing to the environmental wellness and passing that stewardship to future generations.

The illustration was later published on internationally recognized platforms such as The Archiologist, KooZA/rch, AD Italia and others.#

Stanislaw Gulkowski


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