Artistic inspiration for me flows from the natural landscape, but in the midst of a global pandemic when we are all being encouraged, and rising to the challenge, to stay home and flatten the Covid-19 curve, my muse has shifted to what’s visible from my bedroom window — suburbia.
While separated by physical distance, we are all still connected by this shared experience. The entire world has been asked to just #stayhome.
This project reflects this surreal moment of social distancing and isolation, and the collective effort to help. Represented by 300+ small glass houses of all shapes, sizes and colours, the pieces create a suburban landscape — a bird’s-eye view of social distancing. When viewed as a whole, the separate houses become a visual metaphor for the way we are all connected, even in our individual spaces.
What the crisis has given us is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see ourselves and our world in the plainest of views. What’s more primary than the iconic shape of a home? Everyone can identify it and it doesn’t need to be representative of physical space.
These small, brightly coloured sculptures represent us in our homes, but also the hope, love and community that has risen through the pandemic.I set up a makeshift gallery in my condo and did an Instagram Live ‘opening’ for on April 25. Everyone was encouraged to swap sweatpants for best black-tie outfits, pour a cocktail and join me as I officially unveiled the houses. I did an artist talk on the work and answered questions in real time. The video has been posted on my Instagram account (@jewelnotes) on IGTV.
Opening weekend we raised $800 for the Calgary Food Bank!
Houses have been made from slabs I constructed using glass scrap and old works, giving them new life. This project has given me the freedom to focus on the production of my art, a chance to step away from the seemingly endless drumbeat of crisis media.
The pandemic has caused a shift in how I view tasks and time. Even the placement of the houses in rows upon rows for the exhibition was tedious yet satisfying — not a task I would have yearned for in my ‘too busy’ past.
Parts of the houses are shiny as most would associate with the medium, but other parts are ground down and oiled with a soothing blend of essential oils, giving them a matte finish and allowing the pieces to absorb light making them appear to glow – radiating hope.
How do I get a mini glass house?
Order from the collections below and I'll ship worldwide. Calgary friends can opt for contactless curb side pickup on the weekends at designated times!
Houses are selected randomly based on the collection/weight you select. See photos in the collection for an idea on colours/sizes in each category.
How can I help if I can't afford to buy?
I know it's a difficult time for many right now and I appreciate the community spirit! Share this project on your social media channels and with your networks.
Point everyone to my Instagram account @jewelnotes. You can also signup for my newsletter (bottom of the page) to hear about future projects.