As an Honors Studio artist, Kat '20 transformed her quarantine experience — and her senior thesis project — into a meaningful expression of gratitude.
Captured by a student: Kat describes her senior thesis project.
By complete accident, I ended up self-isolating in New York City completely alone. With limited supplies and an unusual working space, like most of my classmates, I was forced to surrender my original senior thesis idea for something more feasible. Due to the circumstances of the current events, I decided to document my life in quarantine through a series of postcards. Some of the postcards, particularly the ones that are set at home, are more static and almost lifeless to portray the simultaneous peace and loneliness I felt throughout the weeks of living in complete tranquility. Some tell a story, like the hour-long grocery store line, the embarrassingly expensive receipt which followed it, and the comically empty fridge despite food being the only thing I was spending money on.
As I was writing this, nearly 180,000 of New York City’s 8 million population tested positive for coronavirus. The city that never sleeps suddenly has become a ghost town. I must admit, it was really difficult to wrap my head around what was going on — that is until I realized that everyone else feels the same way. I missed my graduation, but there are people who have it worse; couples missing their long-awaited weddings, essential workers who are sacrificing their well-being to keep the country running, people who have loved ones affected by the virus, the list goes on. I was going to keep these postcards to myself, but while living alone, I spent a lot of time reflecting on how thankful I was to be safe and happy during such a difficult time. Making these postcards seemed to bring a bit more meaning and purpose to my day, so I wanted to bring that same meaning and purpose into someone else’s day: specifically, a stranger’s day.
Making these postcards seemed to bring a bit more meaning and purpose to my day, so I wanted to bring that same meaning and purpose into someone else’s day: specifically, a stranger’s day.
Each completed postcard was accompanied by a handwritten note vaguely explaining my story and the purpose of this project alongside an option to respond to me via email. I distributed them around the mailboxes of Manhattan to the homes of complete strangers. I may receive some responses, I may not get any — I just hope to put a smile on their face, even if it’s just for a split second.