Walnut shell, polymer clay.Life in a nutshell, 20203.7cm hight, 3.3cm width, 1.3cm depth

Although the current pandemic is an unprecedented collective experience, it is simultaneously a very subjective one. Quarantine, self-isolation, social distancing, are all being experienced through our lenses as individuals. A close friend of mine, currently recovering in self-isolation, says that her greatest worry is her mental health. Alone, far from her country and family, she feels the house closing in and getting smaller every day “like a nutshell”. This inspired me to create this nutshell house for her, to always remind her how strong and brave she has been during these challenging times. Our relationship with our home is a very personal one, and I find fascinating how different this period of staying home feels for each one of us. Some people felt blessed to have a home and shelter. Others felt isolated and imprisoned. Some became more creative and others more lethargic. Some went through painful and lonely recoveries, suffered loss, or increased levels of domestic abuse, while others are ashamed to admit that they have enjoyed getting rest and having family time. Undoubtedly, we all had to stay strong and take care of ourselves and others, while reinventing ways to love where we live.

Cathy Samou, 25/04/2020.