• Naseem Syed

'Balance' by Sophie Upham


I am a part time SEN teaching assistant and part time portrait/ pet portrait commissions artist.

Has lockdown changed you? How? Why?

Lockdown has allowed me to take the time to realise the things I love and that I should do more of it. It has made me appreciate the little things.

What made you smile or brought you joy in lockdown? Can you explain it?

Being able to have the time to do the things that make me happy. I got to go in the garden and start writing a story in the sun. I was able to spend a lot of time with my partner, which we rarely get. I also got myself a hamster a couple of days before lockdown and he always makes me smile.

Have you changed since lockdown? Tell me why.

I feel I have become more appreciative of the small things and being more in the present. Lockdown has forced us all to stop with out hectic lives, which has given me the chance to reflect and discover.

What is the story behind your hand art?

After doing an art degree and starting work I felt I had lost my passion for art. Lockdown gave me the chance to try something new and experiment because I had the time to do so. The weather was beautiful and I really wanted to make a sculpture for the garden that reflected on my experience of lockdown. I have recently started having an interest in the Japanese Buddhism culture and Zen way of life. I love how their artwork reflects this through symbolism and simplicity. I wanted to make a cast of my hand with a lotus flower, for the lotus flower symbolises beauty and life being able to thrive above muddy water. Just like lockdown, we can find the beauty in life through these strange and murky times.

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