“Do what you can with what you have, where you are” -T. Roosevelt
A month into quarantine life because of Covid-19, I found myself adjusting to it by creating a series of hand crafted face masks out of materials at hand –one each day— as a way of reflecting this time in isolation, and creating a sense of purpose. We are all being asked to wear masks so I decided to use the mask to respond to what I hear in the news, how I feel, or just to keep my hands and mind busy as well as to teach myself to crochet.
Since I haven’t been able to use my shared studio space during these times, I created a corner within a secluded space in my apartment where I could withdraw into myself, becoming a “symbol of solitude for my imagination to take flight *. I wanted to keep the series cohesive to the work I had been doing, using traditionally considered female crafts to create works that refer to the female experience in patriarchal societies, immigration and memory.
I put on each mask and photograph it as soon as I am done, then immediately post it to social media, where a growing community is forming around my mask making ritual. Turning this material based process into a performance, inviting connection and allowing for community. Indexing my time in isolation, I don’t feel as alone. These face masks play with ambiguity and symbolism as they won’t protect us from the virus, they represent a thread of connection in the times we are living in.