Isolation Diary: Letters from Isolation – by Ocean Loren

Work situation: Artist, educator and socially engaged practitioner. Currently placed on furlough in 3 different work settings with one exhibition on hold and another indefinitely postponed.

Isolating with: Just my grandma, I usually live between her house and my parents but decided to move in for the period of the lockdown.

Saturday, 16th May 2020

Today’s thoughts have revolved around connection.

When I was 16 a note dropped out of a library book I was reading with the words: ‘nothing is as important as you think it is when you’re thinking about it,’ which was a welcome thought at the time and soothed my stressed, GCSE-focused mind. I kept the note from the stranger in my purse until years later when I put it in a card for a friend as I felt like she might need it.

Since lockdown began, or perhaps a bit before, I began searching my brain (and Google) for the different ways that I could connect and help people during this time. I knew that isolating with my grandma meant that I couldn’t leave the house. My heart hurt for those who, like her, might have to isolate but might not have family and friends close by to help. I helped set up my local mutual aid group, like thousands of others across the country, and each day I manage the requests of those in need, matching them with volunteers that are able to help out. One of the places I find solace during this crisis is in the kindness of strangers and the small things you can do each day to make a difference.

Connection thoughts like these inspired a series of artworks that I have been creating named Letters from Isolation. Each day since the beginning of lockdown, I write and post a letter to a random cosmically named address with a positive thought.

The text for today’s letter reads: ‘A Truth: There is power in collectivity’ and is sent to a house on Sunlight Avenue.

A typed letter in yellow text addressed to the resident at 211 Sunlight Avenue, Australia, on Saturday 16 May 2020. The message reads: For You, A Truth: There is power in collectivity.
Letter From Isolation (no. 56) by Ocean Loren
A typed letter in green text addressed to the resident at 22 Pluto Rise, UK, on Saturday 18 April 2020. The message reads: For You, A Truth: Everything is delicately connected (word is struck through) interconnected.
Letter From Isolation (no. 26) by Ocean Loren

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