“It has been a tough year, these past 12 months. How small the world has become, although we are lucky to be able to reach out and speak to family and friends far-away. There are so many people facing this pandemic in much more dire situations. And let’s face it, Covid 19 is not the only problem in the world. This is a box filled with my Covid-quarantine life. You can see a drawing of my husband, I am really missing him, as he is now living and working in China. I included a photo of my mother in law, who passed away in January. So difficult to say farewell without my husband and our son. My son is drawn standing with his girlfriend under the US flag. We are looking forward to meeting his girlfriend in real life The car in the dolls house is to symbolize that I have been driving more than usual, to pick up and drop off our daughter (also a drawn portrait of her) in Utrecht, where she studies. I have been driving to the south of the Netherlands, to visit my mother in law as often as possible in the last months of her life. Our youngest daughter has been stuck home with me and our dog. Sometimes our other daughter will stay for a day or longer. I cherish the time we spend together too. Realizing this might not happen again for such long periods, to have ones adult children back home. We do creative projects, sometimes together. I try to read or puzzle and not binge watch too much TV. Having a dog has been better than it already was, one of us is allowed out after curfew to walk the dog. “- Lidwien
“The last year I’ve been focussing on all the turmoil that humanity is facing right now. I’ve noticed that I’ve focussed on all the negative aspects of the past year rather than looking for the positives. I’ve found that being surrounded by my loved ones helps comfort me and helps me realize that the world is not wholely bad.” — Saskia
“This dolls house depicts my own Student accommodation, its a replica of a room with my own colourful twist which intends to show how these rooms can be improved to help students with acclimation. Colour is such an important aspect of everyone’s lives, and it has a huge impact on perspective and mood and so this project shows how Implementing colour can help with mental health.” ‑Jakub
“I feel lucky to have had my art to get me through the lockdown. My day usually starts with a walk on the local meadows… There is new life springing up everywhere — the wild garlic patch, which we collected from to make soup has just started to appear — reminding me, it is over a year since the pandemic happened. As I look down in the pond, I can see new life, the frogspawn has appeared. Feeding the swans, ducks, and geese has been uplifting and funny at times, watching the hierarchy within the groups. As soon as I get home, I start working on my art. I have started working from my front room window — I was a little shy at first, but I have found it to be really nice. I have a little fan base, who wave to me as they go past my house. The postman has become very interested in my art, and we have now become firm friends. I have really enjoyed my days in lockdown, just making the most of what we have around us. However, I feel sad that others haven’t got the same privileges or resources, and I do wonder how we can help the homeless in the future… A Manchester-based charity ‘Embassy’ has plans to make a community for homeless people — repurposing shipping containers. I think this is a wonderful idea, which I think is a step in the right direction. I am really looking forward to seeing it completed, and it giving hope and a new future for the homeless.” ‑Lorraine
“I’m a Damascus-based architect, and art is my life. I love photography, painting, crafts, and music.
With my camera, I trap the details and moments I wish to immortalize. My photos are sometimes simple, but they capture stories and intense emotions.
I have therefore created Weirdie, through whom I combined my love for crafts, photography, and self-expression. Through the day-to-day details of Weirdie’s life, I express myself and savor the things and notions I hold dear. He also resonates with many people although he doesn’t feel like he fits in with the world around him. He has a small number of friends, he is comfortable in his own skin, and he spend his time doing the things he loves. He wouldn’t waste a moment on anything that doesn’t feel right or doesn’t feel like him.
When I first started capturing Weirdie’s life, I introduced people to his character, hobbies, and interests. He plays the oud, reads, goes for long walks in Damascus, and does many other things. I then decided to build his first house. It was very simple but the perfect fit for his character. I shared the details of his life for almost two years before his life expanded and he needed a bigger house, so I built him a Damascus-inspired home full of the cultural details he loves. I also capture the moments in his life that reflect my deepest silent emotions.
After about a year of moving into his new home, Weirdie wanted to pursue a new hobby and turn it into a profession, so I built him a tannour bakery next to his house. Now the details of his life have expanded to this bakery.” ‑Eman Tello
“ ‘My Syrian Room’ workshop in Leeds provided a platform for a group of Syrian ladies from different backgrounds to express themselves through art and share stories to form strong bonds and communicate to the world the bright side of our beautiful country, Syria, the cradle of civilization.” ‑Anan Tello