• Naseem Syed

‘Zoom doodles’

Has lockdown changed you? How? Why?

Maybe. My life was changing anyway. Lockdown is just a part of it.

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

Discovering the joy of solitude and silence. I have never spent so much time on my own before. I find it addictive. There is a joy in having a space of my own. Also, I have appreciated the glimpse of a different world without traffic or aeroplanes, letting nature reclaim its territory. The slower pace has reconnected me with proper cooking, not just the usual assembling of ingredients. I have started with curries because I enjoy the names and aromas of the spices and the pleasure of creating something from scratch, then sharing it with others.

Have you changed since lockdown? Tell me why?

I am more contemplative, more self-contained and more determine to get involved with climate emergency programmes.

I have learned new digital skills(I can find my way around Zoom, Teams, Slack, Skype, I know how to use two devices, so I have a camera on my hands as well as my face and I know how to hitch my laptop to my phone). I am more confident in speaking Welsh and I have had time to catch up with other gaps in my learning, especially regarding Black history and future scoping. I more confident in facilitating online activities myself and have led several origami sessions, even though I am a beginner, learning to see myself as an arts practitioner in my own right.

What is the story behind your hand art? (Could be what you used, the colours, symbols, place, person, memories, inspired by etc.)

The artworks are very much a reflection of where I find myself today – often having back-to-back online meetings (most frequently by Zoom). I find I can concentrate better if my hands are doing something, so, as I listen, my fingers are constantly busy doodling or practising origami folds.

The artworks portray the restlessness of my hands and the connection with my pandemic learning journey

Anything else you would like to share?

I am in two minds. Part of me wants to get back to a more normal sort of routine but I realise I am enjoying this bizarre hiatus from those routines. It is a bit like an extended Groundhog Day, but with the hope that we can all do better when we re-emerge.

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