• Naseem Syed

'So near and yet so far'

I am 38. I have a husband, 3 children and a dog. I’m an admin assistant who has been working from home since March.

Has lockdown changed you? How? Why?

I don’t think lockdown has changed very much.

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

When my children were home from school it was the longest I have been at home with them since they were babies so it was nice being all together, they made me smile every day. I started feeding the birds in my back garden and now I have 50 or more sparrows visit every day to eat the food I leave them and I watch them and they give me joy. The children grew sunflowers and they were beautiful (we normally fail when to grow plants). Seeing people come together to help others (though I think situations like this can bring out both the best and worst in people)

Have you changed since lockdown? Tell me why.

I don’t think I have changed, not that I have noticed anyway. I am maybe a little bit sadder about the world my children will have to grow up in and obviously due to the hit on the economy there is the constant worry of my husband or I losing our jobs. Seeing people losing their jobs makes me think there but for the grace of god go I.

What is the story behind your hand art?

My art ‘So near and yet so far’ is inspired by the fact we are all still so close to one another (I.e. we are all still in the same vicinity) yet due to restrictions we are still so far away in terms of being unable to touch or socialise, social distancing, people being nervous around contact with others for fear of passing something on, so divided by opinion on Covid/masks/rules etc. The hands are almost touching but they are holding back. The warm coloured hand represents my positive feelings being with my family, grateful for my husband & I still having jobs and for the good health of my family, love and hope. The cold coloured hand is negative feelings, missing my family who don’t live with me/friends, sadness for the people who have been affected directly by Covid or by job loses or for my children and other children who have missed out on so much schooling and will have to live in a world so different to the one I grew up in, worry about what could happen in the future, having to work from home alone for the foreseeable future, death of the old normal.

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