April 11, 2020

INSTRUCTOR REFLECTIONS

By: Natalie Finney

Above image by Aimee Glucina

If you were to rewind to this time last year and suggest to your future-self that in 12 months you would be ordered to stay home, move your workspace into your home space, and isolate yourself from extended family and friends, what do you think you may have responded?

What if you were informed that videos of serious brawls in supermarkets over toilet paper supplies would inundate our social media feeds? Paired alongside images of rainbows and messages to ‘Let’s All Be Well’ shared amongst your community? You’d likely respond with “Nah, don’t be ridiculous future-self, that only happens in movies. Right?”

 

Fast forward to today and what a strange world we have woken up to. While many of us struggle to find footing and balance in these unaccustomed times, some are thriving with the enforced intermission. We asked our Gather Academy Instructors to share some of their thoughts and musings on how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted their own worlds. 

 

AIMEE GLUCINA

“It’s hard to believe how drastically life has changed in the last month. Where I live (Auckland, New Zealand) we’ve just finished our third week of lockdown. The school holidays were brought forward and from next week we’ll nervously commence homeschooling our kids. I feel like all of my emotions are colliding at once! There’s grief, fear and anxiety, but there’s also happiness and so much love and gratitude for my family and our continued health. And while we’re always at distance I feel like the world has become much smaller and more connected through our shared experience.

What’s keeping me sane is tapping into my creative outlets – writing and photography. I’ve risen to the challenge of coming up with creative experiments and projects to keep the kids busy and they’ve been obliging when it comes to me documenting it through my lens. Telling the story of our “COVID days” is a unique privilege, I’m proud to be our legacy keeper at this moment in time. Here are a couple of moments from our “new normal”.

Above images, courtesy of Aimee Glucina

 

NATALIE FINNEY

“We have been isolation for 3 weeks now and it’s been a challenge (to say the least!) to keep the kids entertained at home without over exhausting devices and digital time. We have been aiming to get out and about daily, going for bike rides or walks through short bushland tracks and trails we feel fortunate to have surrounding our beachside suburban area.

The kids and I have been collecting bits of native flora here and there and bringing our goodies home. They remind me of my own childhood when we would collect similar items from nature and craft them into little bush babies, guided by a very artisitic mum of a close friend, and completely inspired by the incredible illustrations and stories by Australian children’s book writer May Gibbs (creator of the iconic Australian folklore literature, ‘The Gum-nut Babies’). You can find out more about May Gibb’s incredible work here https://maygibbs.org/

The series is progressing and is keeping me somewhat sane and motivated!

Above image, ‘Some goodies we have collected from our bush walks’.

Above image, ‘A couple of treasured childhood creations made by my friend’s Mother’.

‘Images created during isolation for my personal project Bush Babies’, by Natalie Finney.

 

VICTORIA ANDREWS

We are currently isolating here in Brisbane, in between entertaining my two kids and getting up to date on all my work commitments I have rediscovered my love of knitting! Here are a few of my creations!

Above images, courtesy of Victoria Andrews

 

APRIL MILANI

“In this time of change and uncertainty we must embrace a new normal. At least this is what I keep hearing. My response is; What is normal, and why wold we want it? Let’s strive to create a world around us that is beyond the new normal, full of love, grace and mercy. Love even though the person next to you may seem unlovable. Forgive the unforgivable. Give with no expectations. Create with no limits. If this could be our new normal, I’ll take it!”