I’ve always been writing an overview of the year as it’s nice to look back and reflect on the things that I’ve done, experienced and places that I have visited. I don’t think anyone would’ve expected that this year there’d be a global pandemic and that we’ve all had to press the pause button. It’s just been one weird year where we’ve all had to adapt in the way we live, interact and work. For a lot of people though, the pandemic has exacerbated hardship in terms of loss of employment, mental health, loss of education and an uncertain future in that certain plans have had to be put on hold for the time being. It has also shown the widening gap in poverty and life chances, especially the North and South divide, not forgetting that BAME groups have been completely marginalised in comparison to their white counterparts.
The Black Lives Matter movement has probably been one of the most important social movements of the year; a reaction to the murder of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor (of course, not forgetting the countless innocent lives taken away by police brutality and systematic racism) it sent shockwaves across the world. How in modern America is this still happening? It’s like the clocks have turned and they’re going backwards. Social activism has sprung up through social networks organised through grass root communities and organisations- unity and love has been the light through this dark tunnel . It has been a real eye opener, against the backdrop of Covid-19, that solidarity and support is shown no matter where you are in the world. In the summer myself and Ivy raised money in solidarity with Black Lives Matter together with some other artists and illustrators who were kind enough to donate a piece of artwork to the cause. We both felt frustrated by what was happening in America, and though I didn’t go to any protests, sometimes the smallest actions can have a major impact.
During the period of lockdown I had spent a lot of time weaving and throughly enjoyed it. This’ll definitely something I’ll be continuing and I have plans of buying a larger loom.
I took part in lots of virtual craft markets during the summer, made sales through them, and will do more of them as they arise in the future. The pandemic has shown that creatives and businesses have had to adapt in the uncertainty of the coronavirus, although not the same as walking through a market, I think it’s been fantastic that so many people have grouped together in support of one another.
As well as taking part in online life drawing lessons, Sam and I have had the time to cook far more interesting dishes which we wouldn’t usually have the time for. We made cheese (at one point it was mega hard to get hold of cheese), bao buns, sushi (made this twice now), lots of Japanese food in general plus good old wontons which I can’t see to get enough of right now!
As lockdown was easing we went camping for a couple of days and that’s been our holiday; no plans of going away either. We’ll spending Christmas here in London as it’s way too risky to be visiting family members. Once vaccinations have been on the roll-out I’ll be making my way up North as I haven’t seen my folks since July. I also miss my grandparents but it’s just not worth the risk to be seeing them over the Christmas period. I miss conversing with them in Cantonese, eating my Grandma’s traditional and home cooked Chinese food… all of those things I’m really craving right now but I keep reminding myself that one day we’ll be able to spend proper quality time as a family. So we’ll be having a quiet: watching lots of films, eating cheese and chocolate, making artwork in my own time and hanging with the cats.
I’m going to end my post here and I wish you all a festive Christmas and see you on the other side. Since I last updated this post, London and all of South East of England are now in tier 4 which means no mixing with other households, people cannot leave tier 4 areas unless permitted (i.e. for work)… generally staying put then.
(A rather ambient version of WHAM’S Last Christmas to get you into the mood- Enjoy!). x