An innovative collection of artworks reflecting the experiences of more than 76,000 New Zealanders in managed hotel isolation has been released in a collaboration between Kiwi artist, Ruby Jones and Accor New Zealand.
The 14 unique pieces, collectively titled ‘Thanks From Iso’ were created through interviews with 28 Kiwis, all of whom had spent 14 days in isolation in various Accor hotels following their return from overseas. The final collection spent 14 days in residency at the Allpress Studio in Auckland but will ultimately be donated to the Auckland Museum.
During her residency, thousands of Kiwis visited to enjoy her artworks, including New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, who took time to meet with local Accor General Managers.
Inspired by the interviews and various pieces of creativity put together by guests in isolation, Jones’ collection reflects the bravery and solidarity not just by returning travellers but also by frontline health and security workers from various government agencies who combined to ensure the safety of the New Zealand community.
Jones was thrust into the international spotlight last year when her artwork graced the cover of Time Magazine in the wake of the Christchurch mosque shootings.
Accor Senior Vice President Operations, Gillian Millar, said she was incredibly proud of how well Accor’s various hotel teams stepped up to help the government and the community by carefully managing the hotel quarantine process.
“The journey for our teams, government agencies and guests since the first lockdown has been both heart-wrenching and rewarding,” she said.
“We knew we needed a way to capture these tales, inner thoughts and experiences in a concentrated body of work that will encompass this moment in time – providing a visual understanding for generations to come.”
Jones said that hearing the stories of quarantine residents and frontline workers would be an experience she wouldn’t forget.
“I hope the works I’ve produced resonate with the people of Aotearoa and spark a deeper sense of understanding for those to come,” she said.